Confederate One Cent - The 1861 Confederate Cent was designed
by engraver Robert Lovett, Jr. of Philadelphia at the behest
of agents of the CSA. There were restrikes made by Captain
John W. Haseltine, and Robert Bashlow. The originals were
made of copper nickel probably using the federal standard
for a cent. The weight is 4.67 grams and the diameter is 19
millimeters. Twelve to fifteen are known. The obverse shows
a portrait of Liberty facing left wearing a Phrygian cap.
She is surrounded with the inscription CONFEDERATE STATES
OF AMERICA, and the date, 1861, is below. The reverse shows
an open wreath of cotton, corn, tobacco, maple, and wheat,
with two barrels and a cotton bale signed L for Lovett encircling
the denomination, which is written as 1 CENT.
John Haseltine made restrikes of the 1861
Cent in various metals in 1874. He made 7 gold, 12 silver
and 55 copper restrikes. Haseltine obtained the dies from
Lovett, who was terrified that the Union authorities would
find out about the dies and sentence him to death for treason.
Of course if that were the case, he would be hanged. One evening
in 1873, Lovett got drunk and revealed that he had made a
copper Confederate cent. In retelling the story of how he
obtained the dies and coins from Lovett, Haseltine said in
one story that he had bought 10 coins from him and in the
other story that he had bought 11. He claimed falsely “after
the fifty-fifth impression the collar burst and the dies were
Henry Chapman bought the dies from Haseltine
and made a mule combining a Lovett Washington obverse with
the 1 CENT reverse. The history of the dies was unknown until
1961 when they were obtained by Robert Bashlow. The obverse
was unbroken and the reverse was cracked at the 1. Both dies
had rust spots and chisel marks but were marginally usable.
Bashlow had a medalist firm make transfer dies from the originals
and struck large quantities in 1961-62 for the Confederate
centenary. These coins are called the Bashlow restrikes or
the Second Restrikes, Defaced Dies. In 1970 Bashlow presented
the dies to the Smithsonian Institution. He struck 3 in platinum;
3 in gold, 5,000 in silver; 50 in “nickel silver,”
an alloy with unstated specifications; 20,000 in bronze; 5,000
in “goldine,” a brassy alloy with an unspecified
composition; 50 in lead; 50 in aluminum; 50 in tin; 50 in
zinc; and 50 in a red fiber. The restrike may also exist in
other metals. Probably 2 or 3 uniface strikes also exist of
both sides in gold and silver.
1861 Confederate Half Dollar - The Confederate
Half Dollar used the Seated Liberty federal obverse designed
by Christian Gobrecht. It depicts Liberty seated looking
over her shoulder to the left. She balances the Union Shield
inscribed LIBERTY with her right hand and holds a staff
on which is placed a Phrygian cap in her left. There are
seven stars to the left and six to the right interrupted
by her head and the capped pole. The date is below. The
reverse, designed by A.H. M. Patterson, a New Orleans engraver
and die sinker, shows a Confederate shield surrounded by
an open wreath of cotton and wheat tied with a bow at the
bottom. On a pole at the top of the shield is a Phrygian
cap. The inscription CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA is in
an arc at the top, and the denomination, written as HALF
DOL. is below.
Immediately following the Civil War, numismatists did not
know that the Confederate States had its own coinage with
distinctive designs. However, after the war, Dr. B.F. Taylor,
the former Chief Coiner for the Confederacy, retained in
his possession the reverse die of the CSA fifty cent piece
and four original coins. He kept this die secretly in fear
of being prosecuted by the Union for treason since he supervised
the manufacturing of the enemy’s coinage. In 1879,
he revealed in the New Orleans Picayune that he had the
die and an original coin. Ebenezer Locke Mason, Jr., a coin
dealer bought the die and coin and sold them to J.W. Scott.
When the editor or the American Journal of Numismatics learned
of the restrike, he said, “This piece having been
struck in the New Orleans Mint by government officers, with
government tools, and on silver stolen from the United States,
should be restored to its true ownership, and then it be
place in the Mint Cabinet. The obverse die, we hear, was
claimed by the government; why not the reverse also?”
Scott, a creative entrepreneur, wanted to promote and make
restrikes of the half dollar. The die that he bought was
rusted and a piece of the border near ER had been chipped.
He didn’t think the die would last too long; however,
he used it to make 500 merchant tokens. Since the die did
not deteriorate during this run, Scott put his original
plan into place. He used 500 1861 federal half dollars,
some from circulation, and supposedly all from the New Orleans
Mint. With the help of David Proskey, a New York coin dealer
and cataloger for J.W. Scott and Company; Scott held four
coins on a brass block with the obverse facing down and
using a collar to prevent spreading, overstruck the coins
with the Confederate reverse. The result was not particularly
satisfying because the images of the original Federal and
the CSA reverses mingled. To ameliorate this problem, Proskey
planed off the reverses of the remaining 500 half dollars.
They were then struck with the Confederate reverse. The
result was that the restrikes produced had obverse flatness
and unevenly struck reverses with weakness often seen in
the legend. The coins were also lighter than the original
by about half of a gram. After he struck these restrikes,
Scott annealed the die and used a chisel to deface it.
Since Proskey was able to take care of the operations,
Scott was free to begin a marketing plan to sell the restrikes.
He advertised that his offering was oversubscribed; however,
only a portion of the mintage had been sold. Proskey later
said that the remaining pieces were in Scott’s inventory
for many years. It was not until the 1920’s that they
were extensively distributed.
Modern copies of the Scott restrikes have been made in
the last sixty years. They are usually struck in white metal
or bronze and have little or no collector value. Authentic
restrikes made by Scott are highly desirable numismatic
Scott Token - 1861 Confederate Half Dollar - Scott Restrike David Proskey also helped Scott repolish the original
die to reduce the effect of the rust; prior to striking the
CSA Half Dollar, they struck 500 tokens that were probably
made from tin. These tokens had an advertising message or
store card for Scott with the following inscription: 4 ORIGINALS
STRUCK BY ORDER OF C.S.A. IN NEW ORLEANS 1861 *******REV.
[sic] SAME AS U.S. (FROM ORIGINAL DIE: SCOTT).
CSA Half Dime
A silver medalet of unknown origin was made that showed a
flag with thirteen stars and the inscription A UNITED SOUTH
with the date, 1861. The reverse depicted a cotton branch
with 13 stars. Made of silver, the piece was about 14 millimeters
in diameter and always holed. Only 8 to 12 are known. While
called the “Confederate half dime,” it was closer
in size to a three-cent silver coin.
CSA Jefferson Davis Dime
This 18 millimeter silver piece showed a left facing portrait
of Jefferson Davis which divided the inscription JEFFERSON
DAVIS. The unknown designer’s signature C.R. is below.
The reverse showed a wreath with the date, 1861 within. The
inscription OUR FIRST PRESIDENT is around the upper half.
The piece has a reeded edge and is always found with a loop
or with the loop removed from the top edge.
CSA Beauregard Dime
The Beauregard Dime, which technically is a sliver token rather
than a coin, is similar in format to a dime. It portrays the
Confederate General with the inscription G.T. BEAUREGARD.
BRG GEN C.S.A. Below is the signature of the unknown designer,
C.R. The reverse shows an open wreath of laurel similar to
Federal coinage style. Within the wreath is the inscription
MANASSAS/21/JULY/1861. The piece has a reeded edge and is
always seen with a loop or with the loop removed.
The Wealth of the South Token 1861-1865
This Southern Civil War token depicts the legend THE WEALTH
OF THE SOUTH, RICE TOBACCO SUGAR COTTON. The reverse shows
a palmetto tree in the center with glory rays, cannon and
cannonballs. The legend is NO SUBMISSION TO THE NORTH and
the date 1860 is below.
The token was designed by Benjamin True and struck in Cincinnati
by John Stanton. It was marketed in the South where its sentiment
was strongly favored. The philosophy was that the strength
of the South came from the land and its crops. The strength
of the North was based on man-made facilities and activities
such as banking and manufacturing. (Some odd mules were made
with these dies. One, for example, has Lincoln on the obverse
with the secessionist reverse.) The token occurs both with
and without a hole for suspension.