US Coins

Market Analysis: $3,600 for counterfeit British halfpenny

A newly discovered example of the extremely rare 1777 circulating counterfeit halfpenny likely produced in America, graded Fine Details, Excessive Corrosion by NGC sold for $3,600 on April 4.

Images courtesy of Stack’s Bowers Galleries.

The counterfeit British halfpennies that circulated as money in early America are popular with aficionados of Colonial coins, and Stack’s Bowers Galleries offered a newly discovered example of a rare die pairing at its April 4 session.

The 1777 circulating counterfeit halfpenny, graded Fine Details, Excessive Corrosion by Numismatic Guaranty Co., is listed as Vlack 10-77A using Robert A. Vlack’s numbering system, and realized $3,600. The variety was not included in Eric P. Newman’s terrific collection and is often missing from major cabinets.

Although sometimes thought to be related to the popular Machin’s Mills circulating counterfeit issues, today its origins are uncertain, though it is considered an American production intended to circulate in early America. This one has an uneven stripe as typically seen, though the cataloger observed, “Abundant deep olive-copper patina enhances the appearance.”

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