US Coins

Williams describes rare copy of 1920 New England coinage

In the summer issue of The C4 Newsletter, a quarterly publication of The Colonial Coin Collectors Club Inc. (, past President Ray Williams recounts his receipt in June 2008 of an annotated, hardbound photocopy of the original 1920 work, The State Coinage of New England by Henry C. Miller and Hillyer Ryder.

Another book, American Numismatic Literature by Charles Davis, references the annotated Miller-Ryder work as “a facsimile reprint of the 1920 original with glossy photographic reproductions of the original collotype plates. Issued in a very small edition, ten copies, all contain the notes of Walter Breen and Bob Vlack, transcribed into each by Al Hoch’s wife, Carole, from her hospital bed after giving birth to the couple’s last child.”

Annotations appear in the Connecticut and Vermont sections, but not the Massachusetts copper section.

In other articles, Jeff Rock examines what was purported to be an extremely rare 1787 Connecticut copper, Miller 32.9-X.7 variety, that is actually a common 1788 Miller 16.1-H variety. Rock suggests through his research that all known examples attributed as 1787 Miller 32.9-X.7 coin are actually the common 1788 variety, and that the 1787 Miller 32.9-X.7 is a variety that does not actually exist.

Dick August illustrates an unusual, unidentified silver piece bearing the denomination of sixpence that is the diameter of a Massachusetts sixpence, but is dated 1686 at the center.

Jack Howes studies the Defiant Head type of contemporary counterfeit British halfpence. The series, which draws its name from the look of King George II on the obverse, was made from 11 obverse dies and 12 reverse dies, variously having dates of 1750, 1751 and 1752. Howes explains the counterfeits are well made and only slightly underweight from genuine examples.

Marcus Mayhugh discusses a trial strike of a counterfeit 1813 Spanish 8-real coin that bears the portrait of King Carlos IIII, who abdicated by 1808, and not that of the reigning monarch, Ferdinand VI.

Charles Wallace examines a new variety of Adm. Edward Vernon medal.

Roger A. Moore and Bruce P. Kesse detail the Pennsauken, N.J., hoard of 89 counterfeit British halfpence, many of them underweight and not struck but cast. The authors believe the accumulation, reported to have been recovered in a piggy bank from the wall of a New Jersey home during remodeling, may have been accumulated by a shopkeeper removing bad coins from circulation through the normal course of business.

Syd Martin provides a die interlock chart for St. Patrick halfpenny dies, along with the current understanding of their rarity.

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