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1876 Aluminum Store Card

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1876 is very early for an aluminum store card. Are you sure it is not a form of "white metal"? I have several early pieces that were listed as aluminum. They tend to look like aluminum, but their weights are not appropriate (always a tad too heavy) for actual aluminum. The US Mint started experimenting with aluminum in 1863 and recommended adopting it in 1867 based on work being accomplished in France and England (France was striking medals in aluminum). The big problem was the rapidly fluctuating value based on the cost to produce aluminum. Aluminum became common for striking tokens in 1893 when electricity was used to extract aluminum cheaply.


In either event, it is a beautiful piece. The quality of striking and the preservation are remarkable. beautiful piece.

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I bought this piece as aluminum from a dealer who is knowledgable. I was hoping to add an early aluminum piece to my collection.




The weight of the piece is heavy for comparable sized aluminum pieces. The rim is heavily wire-rimmed and the strike is exceptional. It has all the qualities of aluminum, except for the weight. I don't actually believe it is aluminum, but it could be an early alloy. I need more study to know what it really is. It reminds me of your store card in many ways. The quality alone is to die for.

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