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Mr_Norris_LKNS's Blog

27 Jan 2020

Some YN Fun with Countermarking

Coins | Mr_Norris_LKNS

Been awhile since I've posted anything, but the Legacy Knights Numismatic Society had a pretty good meeting today and I thought I'd share.Earlier this school year, the Numismatic Knights heard from Mr. Bradley Karoleff, a regional coin dealer near us as well as a contributor to the Red Book, particularly noted for his knowledge on Spanish Colonial coinage. One aspect of Spanish Colonial coinage that has always interested me (aside from their being "pirate money") is the fact that these coins, minted in the New World, ended up being used as money to the far-flung corners of the earth. Proof of this is noted in the "chop marks" they received from being used in trade in the Far East, as well as the countermarks placed on them by other nations. I particularly like to see the 8 reales coins that have King George III of England 's portrait punched into the portrait of King Charles of Spain.UK large pennies have been out of circulation for some time. I came upon a quantity of extremely worn and/or cleaned examples that would make good media for trying our own countermarking. I contacted our medieval die maker, Mr. Carson Engle, to see if he could make us a punch with a design reminiscent of our school mascot, the Knight. He said he'd made punches before and would be glad to try. After awhile I received a punch in the mail. I must say, he did a good job for such a small area on which to work. Our mascot's helm and plume create an unusual shape if you include the space around it for a punch, so we opted not to go with a rectangular or oval shape, but more of a sideways diamond. In the photo accompanying this post, you can see the result of a decent strike. I swung the four pound hammer for the students to avoid smashed fingers on anyone's part. I'm no pro at it but I got some decent strikes. You can see the helm with its facemask and the plume flowing from the top to the rear of the helm.The kids enjoyed the activity and the counterstruck coins. While some were watching their penny get countermarked, the rest spent their time filling their Whitman Lincoln Cent No. 2 blue folders by searching donated wheat cents. They managed to search a few thousand coins in about an hour; next time they will already have them sorted by year to try filling in any remaining holes in their folders. All in all it was a very good meeting.

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