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1902 Indian Head cent on Venezuelan (?) planchet

 
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 Posted 07/06/2013  8:18 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add stazstaz to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
My father collected coins for over 50 years. He passed away, having sold most of his collection before his death. There are a couple of odds and ends that I know little to nothing about, so I am here for some help. I took this to a coin dealer, here in Houston, and he said that it is "just a 1902 cent, worth a couple of bucks"..... No, it is not! This coin weighs .9 grams. It is copper colored, and looks slightly smaller in diameter to the US cent. I might have been born at night, but not last night.
If anyone has any information about this type of error, I would be very grateful for that info. Is this a known error? How rare is it? Where would I go to find a reasonable value?
It is not in the best of shape, perhaps a gf.
Thank you very much for your time and info.
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 Posted 07/06/2013  9:29 pm  Show Profile   Check 52Raymo's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 52Raymo to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
It should weigh 3.11 grams or there abouts. Pics of the front and back are a must. It's hard to determine what you might have without them.
Oregon coin geek.....*** GO BEAVS ! ! ! ***
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 Posted 07/06/2013  9:32 pm  Show Profile   Check vermontensium's eBay Listings Check vermontensium's eCrater Listings Bookmark this reply Add vermontensium to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
We need pictures. Only way to help you out.
johnny54321 - Missed and eternally loved by your CCF family.
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ANA LM1214396, C4

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 Posted 07/06/2013  9:34 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add SsuperDdave to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Interesting.

Welcome to Coin Community, stazstaz. I'd have replied an hour earlier - I saw your post immediately - but I've had my nose buried in books and the Internet since. There are three potential donor countries: Columbia, Ecuador and Venezuela. My first thought is, an 0.9g coin nearly the diameter of a Cent would be extremely thin, nowhere near the thickness of a Cent. Is there any way we could see images of your coin?

We'll go from there. And, no, I could find no similar error coin.

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 Posted 07/06/2013  9:49 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add amida17 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Closest I could find in Domestic and Foreign Coins Manufactured by the U.S. 1792-1965. is Costa Rica 2 Centimos, 75% copper, 25% nickel. 1.0g, 15 mm. BUT we did not mint these until 1903.
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 Posted 07/06/2013  10:17 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add SsuperDdave to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Amida17, does that book have this chart in it?

http://minterrornews.com/foreign_co..._figures.pdf
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 Posted 07/06/2013  10:24 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add amida17 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Amida17, does that book have this chart in it?


Yes.
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 Posted 07/06/2013  10:32 pm  Show Profile   Check vermontensium's eBay Listings Check vermontensium's eCrater Listings Bookmark this reply Add vermontensium to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I'm familiar with thar list as well. I'm guessing its on a Centimos flan.
stazstaz, is it a lighter color than your typical BN IHC?
johnny54321 - Missed and eternally loved by your CCF family.
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ANA LM1214396, C4

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United States
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 Posted 07/06/2013  10:49 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add stazstaz to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thank you all for your replies, so far. Yes, I also looked at the "coins the US Mint has minted for other countries. I do not have any of the catalogs my father used that told him how much a coin is supposed to weigh. I do know that the US cent is supposed to be 3.1 grams, and when I weighed this one at .9, I knew there was something different about it. I will try to get pics of it that are actual;ly legible, and post them here. Yes, it is thinner than a standard cent, but since I am unfamiliar with Venezuelan centavos of 1902, I do not know whether they might have been thin.
Anyway, I will try for the pics.
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United States
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 Posted 07/06/2013  11:54 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add stazstaz to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
First image is compared to modern cent, see ruler. 2nd is the 1902 on top of modern cent. Third is 1902 reverse. Fourth is side view, 1902 is much thinner. Do these help? Thanks!







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23519 Posts
 Posted 07/06/2013  11:59 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add SsuperDdave to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Anyway, I will try for the pics.


Please. There is a (chancy but possible) legitimate way for this to be a genuine off-planchet coin. We need to know more.

Edit: You posted pics while I was typing.

Ooooh. I need to think.
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 Posted 07/07/2013  12:00 am  Show Profile   Check vermontensium's eBay Listings Check vermontensium's eCrater Listings Bookmark this reply Add vermontensium to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Interesting. It appears to have strike pressure weakness associated with smaller planchets.
johnny54321 - Missed and eternally loved by your CCF family.
CCF members sell on eBay!

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ANA LM1214396, C4

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 Posted 07/07/2013  12:02 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add amida17 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I'm thinking you've got something there.
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23519 Posts
 Posted 07/07/2013  12:13 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add SsuperDdave to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
The Philadelphia Mint had a longstanding relationship with the Westbury Mint in Connecticut. In fact, Westbury supplied most of the 1C and 5C planchets used by Philadelphia at this time, and they even struck some foreign coins contracted to the US to produce. It would reason that Westbury might produce those planchets, as well.

1903 was the first year the US Mint had ever produced coinage for Costa Rica. With a brand-new coin, and a brand-new customer, one would think that the Mint would wish to maximize their chances of putting well-minted coins into the hands of the customer as early as possible by way of guaranteeing future business. There were other capable mints in the Americas.

And keep in mind, this was not a "just in time" production environment. Not when your transport system depended on steamships and horses.

So, imagine: Westbury is contracted to produce planchets for this run; perhaps even mint them, but who knows? Production would want to start early, to allow for not only long shipping times, but also the possible loss of the mintage in a shipwreck, while still leaving sufficient time to maybe correct the loss and get coins to Costa Rica in time to issue in early 1903.

There's no reason to believe that the mint run would want to begin any later than early summer. Whoever minted them, chances are Westbury produced the planchets and would have done so even earlier if Philadelphia were doing the minting.

In fact, knowing the job was coming, and knowing they had to supply Cent and Nickel planchets also, why not send them all at once....

The 1.0g 1903 Costa Rica 2 Centimos flan, if used to strike an Indian Head cent, would be way too thin, show very little fine detail, and likely have an irregular rim. In fact, I think it'd look a whole lot like the coin pictured here.
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 Posted 07/07/2013  12:20 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add SsuperDdave to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Does anyone in your area have an XRF tester? X-Ray Fluorescence is a non-invasive method of testing alloy composition, and one would expect a reputable precious metals buyer/seller to have one. If not where you are, Houston perhaps (knowing that's a bit of a drive for you), or CCF has a good friend in Seguin, outside San Antonio who I know has one. We need to determine if, in fact, this is a CuNi alloy of 75/25.
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 Posted 07/07/2013  12:26 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add stazstaz to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Wow, thanks for the replies. The Costa Rican 2 centimos is certainly a candidate. I will look around and see if I can find someone who has a scanner. We are in the Lake Jackson area, about 45 miles south of Houston, but we do go in to Houston about once a week or so. I will keep you informed.
So, is this an interesting coin? As in, odd, rare, someone might want to buy it, or something I should stick back in a drawer? My father did not like error coins.
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