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Forgotten Coins of the North American Colonies - 25th Anniversary


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Three Versions: CD on EBAY, Kindle E-Book via the FREE Amazon Kindle APP to any device and desktop and Softbound at Amazon Books.

Forgotten Coins is my new book. Here is the Preface:

This book is being dedicated to my good friend Bill Anton who has helped this collector throughout his collecting endeavors in the world of contemporary circulating counterfeit (contemporary counterfeits) collecting. I first met Bill during my early days of collecting New Jersey State Coppers. Bill did live close by to me so we did see each other often and did discuss various topics of colonial coin collecting. This eventually led of course to the collecting of contemporary counterfeits. Since the initial book on the Forgotten Coins of the North American Colonies was published in 1992 by Krause Publications there has been much advancement of these contemporary counterfeits by American & Foreign collectors. This book is not so much a research exercise into new areas of contemporary counterfeit collecting but a tribute to an individual who started many people in collecting these coins when at this time in 1992 few if any collectors thought of collecting contemporary counterfeits. Today most collectors of any advanced collecting interest have associated contemporary counterfeits in their collection. Today if I do meet a collector with no contemporary counterfeits in their collection I do question how advanced this collector is or putting it more plainly his “breadth” of knowledge in his field of collecting. Contemporary Counterfeits sort of rounds out the collector in his collecting pursuits and distinguishes him from just being as Bill always indicated a simple minded accumulator. The purpose of this book will be to discuss certain areas that the author is familiar with and to bring this information to its current level of understanding.

A good definition is a definition we used for the Counterfeit Eight Reales book released in September 2014 by Amazon Books. A Contemporary Counterfeit is defined as a spurious coin made to circulate alongside originals in day to day commerce at the same value, regardless of face value or design type. See the Definitions section within this book.

Specifically, the author will discuss the Canadian Blacksmiths, Spanish/American counterfeits (i.e., Kleeberg Two Reales and the Gurney/Nichols/Lorenzo Eight Reales), English and Irish Halfpence/Farthing contemporary counterfeits principally sold in the Stacks 2008 Michael Ringo Collection and other brief treatments of counterfeits mentioned in the Forgotten Book. The reason I use the word brief as it may take two or three volumes to address all these advancements. Most of the advancements are seen for the U.S. Colonial issues in the American Numismatic Society’s Colonial Newsletter in which the serious student is urged to join the ANS and subscribe to the Colonial Newsletter.

The book will also address all the Anton-Kesse Plate coins in the book and bring their cataloguing into modern thinking such as incorporating certain pieces into now accepted counterfeit families such as the Long-Neck Family of counterfeit British Halfpence. Much of these writings of these new contemporary counterfeit Families as previously alluded to has been published through the Colonial Newsletter which is now overseen by the American Numismatic Society.

It was Byron Weston of Pennsylvania who initially coined the phrase “linked fingerprints” which establishes relationships between similar contemporary counterfeits having the same dies and who also linked the British Halfpence counterfeits to another series called the Evasions addressed first by Atkins in the late 19th Century and then further advanced by Cobwright. These relationships are what the contemporary counterfeit collectors call today as the study of these “Families” which have similar characteristics. The link fingerprint consist of three basic elements as initially described by Weston: die sharing, punch linkage and design style. Since this time there has been some controversy on which pieces belong to which Family and what to call these Families. Clem Schettino was also instrumental in initially naming these contemporary counterfeit Families within the sphere of British/Irish Halfpence. No

small task as current estimates are about 10,000 Families with only maybe 50 charted. As farthings are an order of magnitude rarer overall than halfpence as of this writing no Family has been published in this denomination in the ANS Colonial Newsletter as of this publication date. The author will be using the Schettino Classification System (CVS: Clement V. Schettino) within this book from his latest CD which treats most of the current Families. When William Anton wrote his book in 1992 with Bruce Kesse he had to go back to D.T. Batty who in 1868 published the work: The Descriptive Catalogue of the Copper Coinage of Great Britain, Ireland, British Islands and Colonies in his 1886 address to the American Numismatic and Archaeological Society titled “Counterfeit Halfpence Current in the American Colonies.” We then waited almost a century before another great numismatist who as of this writing has past the centurion age mark Eric P. Newman contributed his classic work at the time “American Circulation of English Bungtown Halfpence which constituted a chapter in Studies of Money in Early America in 1976. From these two works we had to wait less than a decade before one of the greatest American collectors (some may argue the top collector and deservedly so) Mike Ringo already started to form his collection which was sold in the Stacks Americana Sale next to my mainline collection of U.S. Colonials primarily State Coppers of New Jersey in 2008.

At this point Ringo’s Collection took many of these pieces to a new level and almost to the level of Colonial State Copper collecting such as New Jersey’s, Connecticut’s and Vermont Coppers. It is estimated that roughly over 50% of all U.S. Colonial collectors today do collect some form of contemporary counterfeit whether U.S. or Foreign. As a tribute to Mike Ringo and the finest cabinet of contemporaries to ever cross the auction block as of this date his collection of contemporary counterfeits is included as an Appendix to this anniversary edition.

My specialties as of this writing include English & Irish Halfpence/Farthing Contemporaries, John Kleeberg Contemporary Counterfeit 2 Reales, Gurney/Nichols/Lorenzo (GNL) Contemporary Counterfeit Eight Reales, Canadian Blacksmith Coppers and Foreign Contemporary Counterfeits collected between 1500-present. The author collects post-1500 foreign contemporaries for the simplistic reason as that he likes to have a date on the specimen he collects – it’s that simple on why its post-1500. I will take these areas to a higher level through material Analysis when available that was seen in the GNL Contemporary Counterfeit Eight Reales book and describe the different alloys seen in these contemporary counterfeit groups.

Even as I write this preface there are collectors of the Colonial Coin Collectors Club (C4) that have long formed a sub-group called the non-regal group which are investigating new Families Of English and Irish Halfpence with the current estimate of approximately 10,000 Families! For this reason this book will touch only on the Ringo Collection and specimens plated in the original Forgotten Book as to their current classifications. So it’s the intent of this book at least for this massive contemporary counterfeit Family to just jump start the beginning student into this series with this book and then if interested he can then pursue this series more deeply within C4 the non-regal group.

Even though great advancements have been made since the days of D.T. Batty and Eric P. Newman in many ways we have only scratched the surface of the pieces described in the original Forgotten Book and today. A simple reason would be that the non-regal group has not even established a universal variety classification system for the British/Irish Families due to their massive numbers and their inherent complexities.

You can begin collecting contemporary counterfeits in several ways: (1) you are reading this book which is a great start in grasping all the potential avenues you can go through in your collecting and possible research venues. (2) Join the American Numismatic Society and subscribe to “The Colonial Newsletter” which has continuous articles on colonials and often contemporary counterfeits, (3) Join the Colonial Coin Collectors Club which publishes the C4 Newsletter and like the Colonial Newsletter can give you a steady stream of new information on contemporary counterfeits, (4) Subscribe to the Stacks/Bowers auction catalogs or keep them on your Favorites on the Internet which particularly in the Americana Sale and C4 Auction venues do always contain an offering of contemporary counterfeits. (5) Seek out writers/numismatists writing in this field, (6) Join the Mexican Numismatic Association (MNA) if your taste in contemporary counterfeits in the Spanish/American area which has just started coing into its own due to recent start of the MNA and finally (6) Use Internet selling venues like E-Bay to read descriptions and study these pieces and learn what is a good buy or bad buy – yes the 1775 English Contemporary Counterfeit Halfpence is the most common collecting date in the selling arena. Irish are more rare then British across the board but if the 1775 English Halfpence is very crude this fact becomes irrelevant. This will be explored further in this book.

This book is really a comprehensive learning tool for the new collector not so much the seasoned specialist wanting to venture into contemporaries. My main goal was to try to alleviate these two constant inquires in my E-Mail box over the years: Where do I begin? Is the attached picture a worthy contemporary counterfeit?

The Anton Family financially supporting this publication and the author hope you enjoy this edition and as Bill Anton so appropriately mentioned in his 1992 book “It is hoped that other collectors and students of the series will endeavor to correct and expand upon this effort.”

Finally an acknowledgement to my wife Maryellen who has put up with my coin obsession for forty years whose background support would not have made this book possible.

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