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1640 silver coin? | repro Dutch "lion dollar"

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United States
6 Posts
 Posted 02/22/2008  3:09 pm Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add limitool to your friends list Get a Link to this Message

Hello everyone!
My name is Brad and I now live in Middle Tenn. About 33 years ago I came upon an old silver coin in Brunswick Missouri. I recently saw a coin like mine on the internet and they called it a Lion Daalder. The date is 1640 and the coin's lettering, date, and figures are easily seen. Is there any value to this coin if it is real and in great shape? I've tried to upload picture's but couldn't get it done. I will try later.

Thank you, Brad


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Edited by Sap
02/26/2008 07:52 am
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Australia
11300 Posts
 Posted 02/22/2008  4:07 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Sap to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Sure, it's easily possible. I paid AU$130 for my "lion dollar", a few years ago now:



We need to know which mint it comes from to identify it properly. Mine, for instance, is from Friesland province; see the "FRI" just to the left of the soldier's head? That's the Latin abbreviation of the name of the province that struck it.
Don't say "infinitely" when you mean "very"; otherwise, you'll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite. - C. S. Lewis
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Australia
11300 Posts
 Posted 02/24/2008  02:33 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Sap to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Limitool has posted pics of his coin in another thread. Thought I'd put all the information in one place.

Limitool's pics:


This one's from Gelderland province - as denoted by the GEL to the right of the soldier's head. Not a scarce date or mintmark, but still interesting.

The pitting you can see in the field worries me. It's either been badly cleaned, or corroded from being either buried or sunk in seawater. When you say you "came upon" it, do you mean found, as in underground, like with a metal detector? That could explain the appearance.

The rough, pitted surface might even be a sign that it's a fake, though I don't think fakes of these coins are commonly seen - forgers normally target popular and well-trusted coins, and "lion dollars" were neither.

According to my old catalogue, it's still worth more than it's bullion value - which is uncertain, because the fineness of these coins wasn't very tightly controlled. CV at least $25, maybe up to around $50 if the condition is actually better than appears from the pics.
Don't say "infinitely" when you mean "very"; otherwise, you'll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite. - C. S. Lewis
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Australia
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 Posted 02/24/2008  02:47 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Sap to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Finally found the old forum thread where I first posted those pics of mine. I may have been hasty in my "fakes aren't common" statement; at the bottom of the old thread, our resident counterfeit expert Swamperbob noted that fakes of this coin do turn up.

The dubious one back then was also a Gelderland piece; unfortunately, it's pic has vanished, so it's impossible to compare. I might send him an e-mail and get his opinions on this one, in case he doesn't spot this thread.
Don't say "infinitely" when you mean "very"; otherwise, you'll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite. - C. S. Lewis
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United States
6 Posts
 Posted 02/24/2008  09:43 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add limitool to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks, Sap... Yes the coin was found buried when folks were digging up a huge stump by hand. The youngster who found it gave it to me then. And yes it probally was NOT properly cleaned or stored right. Is there anything I can do here to help you learn more? Thanks, Brad
Pillar of the Community
United States
3286 Posts
 Posted 02/24/2008  11:07 am  Show Profile Check swamperbob's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add swamperbob to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Sap asked if I could chime in on this thread.

Lion Daalder's are interesting from many perspectives. It was a popular Trade dollar of it's era and it had a very wide circulation. They were like Mexican 8Rs or Maria Theresa Thalers in that regard. They were used in Colonial North America so their value is higher than their rarity might otherwise dictate because of the large collector interest level. Finally they were also targets of early US colonial and British forgers and so there are very valuable contemporary circulating counterfeits of the type.

Very recently - 1-2 years - the type has been targeted by the Chinese so there are pressure cast copies that are of no value. But the date of discovery of this coin precludes that type. I am not aware of any really good looking modern forgries so you may have a good coin.

Contemporary circulating counterfeits tend to hold their value far better than real coins when they are damaged. Perhaps that is due to the fact that most Contemporary Counterfeits are scarcer than originals and collectors have a much smaller number of coins to select from.

As to the picture, it looks like a counterfeit to me. The letters are wrong for the types that I am aware of and the leg of the lion is outlined. In addition many of the high points are "dark" is the metal different?

Can you get an accurate weight? Also check the edge of the coin - what does it look like?

Edited by swamperbob
02/24/2008 11:14 am
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United States
6 Posts
 Posted 02/24/2008  12:28 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add limitool to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks, swamperbob! I attached some pics of the coins edge as best I could and one with a penny (C) for visual size comparision. The coin was "found" in 1974. I don't have an accurate way to weigh the coin at present time. The leg of the lion does have a slightly raised outline. The edges are NOT flat or round as the edges of modern coins. I'm learning how to edit and attach photo's so I'll try and add the photo's now through my edit icon. Thank you guy's---Brad
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United States
3286 Posts
 Posted 02/24/2008  1:41 pm  Show Profile Check swamperbob's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add swamperbob to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
The final of the four pictures that shows the edge is definitive. There is a mid line seam on this coin - indicative of a join between the two molds used to cast the coin. There are also dark spots that clearly appear to be breaks in a surface coating of some sort. With such a clear seam and NO attempt made to hide it - I believe that you have a NON-FRAUDULENT type production. Like a Tourist Replica.

As to the date of origin? I have no records of a similar counterfeit (actually a replica copy) made in the 1950-1960s, but that is when I suspect that this one may have been made. The surface coating appears to be an electroplate or possibly a simple paint like application. It appears to cover the details and actually obscure the actual metal surface.

A Tourist Replica (an unknown or new variety) is perhaps a $15 - 30 item depending on the collector.
New Member
United States
6 Posts
 Posted 02/24/2008  2:23 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add limitool to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Swamperbob, Thank you for the information and the time you took. I am NOT a coin collector or knowlegable about them at all. Is there anything else I could do to further your opinion or ideal (besides weighing)? Again, thank you - Brad / Limitool
Pillar of the Community
United States
3286 Posts
 Posted 02/24/2008  5:36 pm  Show Profile Check swamperbob's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add swamperbob to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
limitool I presume that you are asking

"How do I make 100% sure the coin is not real?"

There are several tests that can be run without damaging the coin.

1. Weight - this is the easiest but provides the least conclusive answer. A very light weight coin say 20 or 21 grams is conclusively a counterfeit, but a coin of the approximately correct weight is NOT necessarily real. Counterfeiters can take any metal and create a planchet that weighs the correct amount by adjusting the diameter and thickness of the coin.

2. Specific Gravity - This test is not as easy as a simple weight but it would be one way to tell if the coin was made of silver. A density around or below 9 or one above 10.6 would prove the coin is a counterfeit. However, modern counterfeiters (after 1950) could have made a counterfeit out of silver and still made a profit by selling the coin as real.

3. XRF (X-Ray Flourescence) this is the best available non-destructive test available at this time. The test would prove the composition of the coin down to a few parts per million. The key to determining what the coin is are the trace contaminants. Modern metals are far purer than the metals used in 1640, so there are contaminants present in metals of that age that would have to be added to the alloy to match originals. Before the advent of XRF, this was of course not possible.

However, any really reputable coin Dealer who is familiar with colonial era coins should be able to determine what you have with a close visual inspection.

There are also third party grading services, but this coin does not warrant any great expenditure of money to prove what it is.

It is a counterfeit - the edge seam actually proves that.
New Member
United States
6 Posts
 Posted 02/24/2008  9:36 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add limitool to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Swamperbob, again thanks for the time and your information. I do appericate your opinion. I "always felt" it could be a counterfeit because of the dark area's on the high pts. I didn't think about the edges so much but it makes sense. Thanks...

Limitool
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