When a Draped Bust dollar turned into an advertisement is no ordinary defacement

Market Analysis: Several notable coins with post-strike stamped surfaces in recent sales
By , Coin World
Published : 03/07/17
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Regarding damage on coins, few post-striking impairments are more interesting than counterstamps and chop marks.

Chop marks are most often seen on Trade dollars while counterstamps are most often placed on a coin by a merchant as a form of advertising. The presence of a counterstamp or intriguing chop marks can sometimes increase the value of a coin by adding historical interest.

Who should protect the coin hobby from predatory sellers?: Inside Coin World: “Should the numismatic community ‘police’ the sellers of coins, medals, and related objects, even those dealers who fall outside of the mainstream dealer network?”

Heritage’s auction held during the February Long Beach Expo and a pre-expo auction by Ira and Larry Goldberg Auctioneers both featured a few great examples of coins where individuals intentionally stamped the surfaces to convey messages or test value. 

Here is one of three we profile in this Market Analysis:

The Lot

1798 Draped Bust, Heraldic Eagle dollar, Very Fine 25, Obverse Counterstamp

The Price


The Story

Merchants would often counterstamp coins in the 19th century with their business names to help promote their goods and services. On Feb. 12 the Goldbergs sold a 1798 Draped Bust, Heraldic Eagle silver dollar graded by PCGS as Very Fine 25, Counterstamp, for $2,115. The early dollar has even wear and attractive toning at the rims. 

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The name W. BEATTY & SON is prominently double-stamped across the obverse, with corresponding flatness resulting on the reverse. William Beatty was among the more prolific edge-toolmakers working in Pennsylvania in the 19th century, especially well-versed at producing broad axes. The counterstamp seen on the dollar is also seen on other metalwork produced during the 19th century. 

Draped Bust dollar

Draped Bust dollar: Pick up one of the nation's first silver dollars – whether it bears the Flowing Hair or Draped Bust design – and take measure of its heft: This is a substantial coin! It's big (39.5 millimeters in diameter) and heavy (26.956 grams). How much are Draped Bust dollars worth?

William Beatty’s business was continued by his sons after his death around 1843. It is probable that this mark was stamped on the dollar decades after the coin was struck at the Philadelphia Mint, and dating the countermark based on its contemporary use on tools could provide a solid research question for the curious buyer.

Keep Reading About Coins With Chop Marks and Counterstamps:

Trade dollar with chop marksOnce shunned, Trade dollars with Asian chop marks now have a market:  In 2003 PCGS began certifying Trade dollars with chop marks, and today these Trade dollars are valued by collectors.

Massachussetts silver twopence counterstampDoes this 17th century silver coin have a chop mark or a counterstamp? Hard to tell:  A 1662 Massachusetts Oak Tree twopence provides an interesting quandary: what is the difference between a chop mark and a counterstamp?

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