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Is This 1725 Russian Beard Tax Token Real/Original? Fake? Novodel?

 
 
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Pillar of the Community
United States
526 Posts
 Posted 02/27/2019  12:47 am Show Profile   Check casualcoincollector's eBay Listings Check casualcoincollector's eCrater Listings Bookmark this topic Add casualcoincollector to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Hello,

I purchases a Russian token recently from a seller in Germany and I would like your opinion on it.

It's a 1725 beard tax token and I'm hoping that it's an original issued example but I haven't seen it in hand yet so I'm not sure. I am thinking this may be an original issued example since it seems to be very similar to a page I found from a book of beard tokens (as seen in the second photo number 21). The one that I purchased is similar but not exactly the same.

Please see the photos and let me know what you think. Thanks.

Edited by casualcoincollector
02/27/2019 12:48 am
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12716 Posts
 Posted 02/27/2019  12:54 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Spence to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
@ccc, I was going to suggest that you reach out to the OP on the "coins depicting beards" thread, until I realized that this was you. I know that I can't help you with this question and wonder if you might be CCF's expert on the beard tokens. The only other suggestion that I have is that you could search CCF using BEARD TOKEN as the keywords. I do see a couple of prior threads.
"The danger we all now face is distinguishing between what is authentic and what is performed."
-----King Adz
Pillar of the Community
United States
526 Posts
 Posted 02/27/2019  04:47 am  Show Profile   Check casualcoincollector's eBay Listings Check casualcoincollector's eCrater Listings Bookmark this reply Add casualcoincollector to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
@Spence,

Thanks for the thought. I know it being an original issued example is kind of a long shot. Originals of the 1725 beard token are extremely rare and there are only supposed to be a handful of originals left in existence and the bulk are in museums. So, if it looks good/original in hand to me when I get it in the mail I will most likely be sending this one into NGC for certification and let them decide. The reason that I posted it here first is that I would prefer to get other peoples' thoughts on this piece before I spend the time and money sending it to NGC.
Valued Member
United States
233 Posts
 Posted 02/28/2019  11:15 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add PatAR to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I know nothing about beard tokens, but notice that the pieces in the reference you shared have holes whereas the example in question appears to have had the holes plugged. Were these originally worn by a person or nailed to a sign? Is it common for these to be plugged? Why would someone do that?

Just brainstorming and truly curious to know more about beard tokens.

Pillar of the Community
United States
526 Posts
 Posted 03/01/2019  04:07 am  Show Profile   Check casualcoincollector's eBay Listings Check casualcoincollector's eCrater Listings Bookmark this reply Add casualcoincollector to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
@PatAR,

Supposedly all of the original issued examples of the 1725 version of beard tokens had holes. The holes were so that the token could be sewn onto clothing most likely an outer jacket to prove that someone had paid the beard tax while around town. There aren't that many originals around so I've never seen a plugged example before this one and I have no idea why this example is plugged.
Edited by casualcoincollector
03/01/2019 04:17 am
Pillar of the Community
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 Posted 03/01/2019  6:03 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add thisistheshow to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Good luck and please let us know what NGC says.
Pillar of the Community
United States
526 Posts
 Posted 03/02/2019  07:35 am  Show Profile   Check casualcoincollector's eBay Listings Check casualcoincollector's eCrater Listings Bookmark this reply Add casualcoincollector to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
@thisistheshow,

Thanks! Will do.
Valued Member
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233 Posts
 Posted 03/03/2019  7:01 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add PatAR to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
@casualcoincollector,

Fascinating! I am honestly struggling to picture a long bearded man walking about with a...receipt tacked onto their clothing. Nevertheless, I read up on some of the history of this and, as they say, truth really is stranger than fiction!

Thanks for posting this item and your response to my question.
Pillar of the Community
United States
526 Posts
 Posted 03/05/2019  02:02 am  Show Profile   Check casualcoincollector's eBay Listings Check casualcoincollector's eCrater Listings Bookmark this reply Add casualcoincollector to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
@ PatAR,

You're welcome.

I received the token in the mail today and it really is a tossup in my opinion. So, I think I am going to take the gamble and send it into NGC for certification. I'll post how it goes here but I probably won't know for quite a while.
Pillar of the Community
United States
526 Posts
 Posted 06/20/2019  9:20 pm  Show Profile   Check casualcoincollector's eBay Listings Check casualcoincollector's eCrater Listings Bookmark this reply Add casualcoincollector to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Well, it's been a little over three months and I just got an adjusted invoice from NGC in my email saying that they are giving me a credit for the grading fees and that they shipped the token back to me today. This tells me that NGC most likely gave up in the end. I was hoping that they had certified it since when I clicked through the submission page it sends me to the page below but when I got the adjusted invoice in my email I'm pretty sure that they didn't actually certify it. The good news is that since they credited me for the grading fees this tells me that they don't think that it is fake. The bad news is that it is most likely not certified and I'm back to square one, won't have it in hand until next week to confirm. Please let me know your thoughts on the matter. Thanks.

https://www.NGCcoin.com/certlookup/...9-001/other/
Edited by casualcoincollector
06/20/2019 9:32 pm
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 Posted 06/20/2019  9:23 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Spence to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Ah that is a bummer. The only other pathway that I can think of would be to reach out to the curator of one of the museums that has an example to see if you could pay him or her to authenticate yours. I'm not even sure that they would do this service, but it might be worth a shot.
"The danger we all now face is distinguishing between what is authentic and what is performed."
-----King Adz
Pillar of the Community
United States
526 Posts
 Posted 06/20/2019  10:09 pm  Show Profile   Check casualcoincollector's eBay Listings Check casualcoincollector's eCrater Listings Bookmark this reply Add casualcoincollector to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
@Spence,

That's an interesting thought but I don't think that that would be a good idea. I've done a bit more research into this piece over the last few months and if real it is one of the rarest and most highly sought after tokens in the world. According to the author of the main reference text on beard tokens that as of 2016 there are only four known examples of original 1725 beard tokens in the world and all are in museums. It's a holy grail/unicorn type of item. Sending this item to Russia could be a very bad idea in my opinion since it may be seized as a nationally significant artifact and I would never get it back. It would be no different than sending an ancient Japanese samurai sword to Japan for authentication and them seizing it.

I think I'm going to try sending it to PCGS next and then ANACS if that falls through. This one is interesting enough that I'm going to play this one out.
Edited by casualcoincollector
06/20/2019 10:58 pm
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 Posted 06/21/2019  07:46 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Spence to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Ok yes sending out of the country sounds like a bad idea. I just was not sure in which museum collections there are examples. I hope that you continue to keep this thread open with the rest of your journey with this piece.
"The danger we all now face is distinguishing between what is authentic and what is performed."
-----King Adz
Pillar of the Community
United States
526 Posts
 Posted 08/01/2019  10:25 pm  Show Profile   Check casualcoincollector's eBay Listings Check casualcoincollector's eCrater Listings Bookmark this reply Add casualcoincollector to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
So, new developments.

Good news:

I reached out to the author of the only reference book on this subject and based on looking at the photo of the token he thinks that it is real, that's a pretty big step in the right direction since he is the world expert in the subject.

Bad/confusing news:

I sent the token into PCGS and I got the results back today and they think that it is counterfeit. The problem with that is that the scenario that they gave is impossible. PCGS is trying to say that it is a counterfeit Novodel of variety Brekke-12 (please see photo below) which is impossible since of all of the known Novodel varieties the token that I sent in looks like none of them but does look exactly like an original of Brekke-9 meaning that this token is either a counterfeit original or an actual original but can't be a Novodel or a counterfeit Novodel. The variety of Brekke-12 does not even look remotely similar to the token that I submitted. This honestly makes me think that PCGS didn't actually attempt to do any research into my submission and just took my money. I'm planning on writing them a letter since this requires either a refund or an explanation in my opinion but I'm not quite sure what to write yet. Any thoughts?

Below are pages from the reference book of both the Brekke-9 (the first two) and Brekke-12 (The second two):
If anyone has any thoughts on the matter please let me know. Thanks.





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