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Modern Nickel Counterstamps, No More Lies

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 Posted 07/02/2012  4:24 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add tmaring to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
The tradition of philosophical or political statements as counterstamps on coins has not died! Here is a modern example on a 2006 nickel. The obverse impression is a depressed oblong field with raised letters saying NO MORE LIES, placed in such a way as to appear as a word balloon in front of Thomas Jefferson's face... as if he were speaking words to us from the past. In a departure from most crudely done counterstamps, this one has a matching reverse that has the words NO MORE WAR. Usually counterstamps are one-sided and either lightly punched or they distort the coin. The matching dies on this one enable a strong impression without undue distortion. Most of them will still feed through vending machines. This project was started in 2006, during the Bush years and has continued off and on, with the kick-press and dies moving from place to place several times. But its thematic relevance has seemingly not diminished with changes in the executive branch. They are frequently available on eBay. The usual price is $1 each for singles, $20 for a "brick" of five rolls (one kilo, 200 coins, 10 cents each). Typically the buyer of a brick agrees to put at least half of the coins into circulation. When one person gets tired of mashing nickels the press moves on. Kinda like the 1652 pine tree shillings.

What does it mean? NO MORE LIES, NO MORE WAR? Is it an exhortation or a statement. Is it advocating for an end to both lies and war, or trying to say that lies lead to war? I don't know! But it's a valid topic of discussion and if this little coin can cause people to think about it, then it has done its job.

At last report there have been over 15,000 nickels counterstruck with this mark, including two full date/mintmark sets of Jefferson nickels. It is believed that at least 10,000 of them are currently in circulation, while collectors seemingly hoard the rest. On the standard portrait the mark appears more or less centered... on the offset portraits the mark is moved off the face as shown above.

Before anybody offers that this is illegal, it is not. Counterstamping is technically creating a "coin novelty". The only illegal defacement of a coin is that which is intended to defraud. Since there is clearly no fraud here, it is merely a coin novelty.

During the 2008 election cycle the NO MORE LIES project reportedly offered an "unlimited" number of these nickels to any presidential candidate who would adopt the NO MORE LIES slogan in their campaign. There were no takers. Two rolls were donated to the John Edwards campaign. Two months later his tower of lies came crashing down. Could the presence of these coins in the campaign office have led to that comeuppance? We do not know, but it is conceivable. Will any candidate EVER step forward to claim this slogan as their own? We shall see, but don't hold your breath. They have been found in almost every state and several places around the world.

If you find one in circulation, please post where!



Edited by tmaring
07/02/2012 4:41 pm
Pillar of the Community
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 Posted 07/02/2012  5:00 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Coinstar to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
never seen one
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 Posted 07/02/2012  5:00 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add John1 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Very interesting thanks for posting. That is the best quality counter stamped coin I have ever seen.
John1
( I'm no pro, it's just my humble opinion )
Searched 5+ Million Cents Since 1971
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 Posted 07/02/2012  5:05 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add CelticKnot to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks for posting - that's pretty cool. I really like all the counterstamped coins I've seen posted in these forums but have yet to run across one myself. That would be a fun collection to start.
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 Posted 07/02/2012  8:13 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add IndianGoldEagle to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I think the same guy that did those also did the 2012 Ron Paul/End The Fed counterstamp.

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 Posted 07/02/2012  8:47 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add numismo to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Wild.
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 Posted 07/02/2012  11:10 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Merc Man to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply


Love'em. Thanks for sharing!
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 Posted 07/02/2012  11:29 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add VGRX to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
It must be illegal.
If this is not illegal then companies could advertise the same way?

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 Posted 07/02/2012  11:51 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add CaptainFwiffo to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I've seen stickers on coins advertising businesses or contests, so it is done.
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 Posted 07/03/2012  12:00 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add basebal21 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
It must be illegal.


It probably is, but really how is it going to be enforced. Barring a huge operation or getting very lucky its impossible to know who did it.
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 Posted 07/03/2012  12:14 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add amida17 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
companies could advertise the same way


Common with some 19th century merchants.
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 Posted 07/03/2012  01:15 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add tmaring to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Nice one! You found the Free State Project and END THE FED nickels also. If you check the seller's ebay listing he quotes the relevant legal code exhaustively. I am not an attorney and this is not legal advice... so feel free to spend some money with your barrister... but if he's worth his salt he's probably going to tell you that it's legal. The possibilities are limitless. The only reason this is not much more popular is that it's a bit of a challenge to design good dies and get them set up on a decent press in the exact right orientation. And of course... you have to place the coin on the die in the right orientation and position. That actually takes the most time. So the orientation problem probably means that a counterstamping effort like this could never be automated. It will always be a one-at-a-time effort by individuals with the will to make it happen. But it can be done. There could be thousands of presses like this all over the country banging away.
Edited by tmaring
07/03/2012 01:18 am
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 Posted 07/03/2012  05:00 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add SHAFTA9a to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
It looks like doubling on "No More War"...
True North
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 Posted 07/03/2012  08:38 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add oih82w8 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Looks like someone with a punch press (of some sort), some dies and extra time on their hands. I have not seen these floating around OKC...yet. More than likely these get plucked from circulation and kept.

Edited by oih82w8
07/03/2012 08:40 am
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 Posted 07/03/2012  11:03 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add tmaring to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I know for a fact that there are at least five rolls worth floating around Oklahoma City. The dies were cut with a Gorton P1-3 pantomill, they're not doubled. The dies have been mounted in three different presses over the last six years... two different small manual screw presses and more recently a scissor-action kick press. The latter seems to work best as it's very easy to hit too hard with the screw presses and distort the coin, whereas the scissor-action press can be adjusted with a stop to precisely calibrate the force of the blow. With practice it's possible to get up to a rate of about 15 coins per minute. It's a very athletic process, akin to riding a stationary bicycle with significant resistance. General advice is to switch legs either every shot or after some number. It's difficult to do it more than an hour or two at a time, mostly because of the eye-strain of having to flip and turn each coin to the right orientation. Having a second person to feed oriented coins to the pressman would smooth things considerably. By coining standards it's a light touch... somewhere between one and two tons... so a small pneumatic marking press could be set up with these and that would eliminate the back-breaking athletic aspect.

The offer of "unlimited" numbers to a political candidate who would adopt the slogan was based on the idea that in such a situation the dies and presses could easily be proliferated and the operation would proceed by volunteers as an aspect of the camapign. I have no doubt that volunteers would be available for such an effort if it ever came to pass. For now it is simply a small-business opportunity for someone to crunch nickels for an hour or two a day and make a few extra bucks selling them to enthusiasts of whatever theme is being portrayed.

The key to designing such a thing is to be brutally concise Say what you need to say in as few characters as possible. NO MORE LIES: ten characters that speaks volumes. END THE FED: nine characters.

Short story: I was doing field work outside of a very small hamlet in rural Nevada... so small that there was only one business of any kind, a sort of motel/convenience store/casino. I was staying there for a week or so. Several times a day I'd go down to the convenience store and get a cup of coffee. With tax it was $1.05 so I would lay down a dollar and a nickel. I had a roll of NO MORE LIES nickels with me and was using those. For several days nobody noticed. Then one clerk saw that something was different, commented on the slogan, and eyeballed it closely. I feigned ignorance. They were on the point of thinking it was something unusual when they opened the cash drawer and looked in, saying: "Oh, there's a whole bunch of 'em. That must just be the new one". The point of the story being that most people are so inundated by the plethora of quarter and nickel and penny designs now that they scarcely blink an eye anymore.

Reverse side of the dollar coin NO WAR FOR OIL project

Edited by tmaring
07/03/2012 11:44 am
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