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1859 Cent In Brass? Does Anyone Know The Specs?

 
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Pillar of the Community
Canada
1230 Posts
 Posted 04/23/2019  1:15 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Alan to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
It's interesting, than, that for a number of years or decades there was an error in determining the origin of this error/variety.

The research seems to prove that this was neither a trial, specimen or wrong planchet, I'm surprised the market seems to still value these.

Has anyone ever run into an 1858 or 1859 woody?
Pillar of the Community
United States
2385 Posts
 Posted 04/23/2019  3:51 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add okiecoiner to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Once PCGS started recognizing it and some VERY expensive auctions took place, it will never be "de-recognized". All we have really is supposition and no proof of what REALLY happened. It will remain the holy grail of the 1859's and there will be 2-3 posts every year on here about some who is sure that they've found a brass one.
New Member
Canada
35 Posts
 Posted 04/23/2019  6:19 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add whatdowehavehere to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
"I for one could find way better ways to spend 15 to 20 thousand numismatically on a coin with a slight alloy variation."
Yes, but there are plenty of people who will (same reasoning why an 1817 O-106a Capped Bust Half Dollar sells for multiples of the O-106)
New Member
Canada
35 Posts
 Posted 04/23/2019  6:24 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add whatdowehavehere to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
"...and there will be 2-3 posts every year on here about some who is sure that they've found a brass one."
It's a GREAT Cherrypick, especially from USofA dealers who have no idea about it. IF this were a, say, Draped Bust Large Cent variety you'd be paying a lot more...
Pillar of the Community
Canada
2185 Posts
 Posted 04/23/2019  8:08 pm  Show Profile   Check Wade's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add Wade to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
If this is a slight variation in alloy why would this ever be considered a great modern numismatic discovery? Especially if it can't be seen or really pinned down as to what happened?


couldn't agree more,

unless they were intentionally struck on specifically created "brass" planchets then people spending $10k-$20k on such a piece have more dollars than brain cells.

anyone who has melted any sort of metal knows that there is a significant difference between the top of the pot and the bottom. even more true a century and a half ago. it means nothing (other than - hey that's different)

this is nothing more than market created hype that rides on the coattails of modern technology. (of course PCGS recognizes it, why would they turn away those submissions?)

if it wasn't intentional 160 years ago then it's still not significant today, or tomorrow, or the next day.

I can't wait for TPGs to start listing metal composition as an add on to grade... and then watch the market hype that follows... sad because it reminds me of the market & value of NCLT...

show me an 1859 struck in silver, lead, tin, or gold. until then all you have is the bottom of the melting pot, or the top.... regardless... the "brass" all came from the same original copper/bronze pot
Edited by Wade
04/23/2019 8:11 pm
New Member
Canada
35 Posts
 Posted 04/23/2019  8:42 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add whatdowehavehere to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
"I can't wait for TPGs to start listing metal composition as an add on to grade.."
Funny you should write that: I have the only Brass Civil War Token called an "a" variety in the description, but with the Brass alloy on the label. NGC's justification for this was that the token was not known to be struck in Brass. Go figure...

Let me ask this of the people who don't enjoy the variety: if someone offered you a nice, new raw VF 1859 Brass cent-and you were sure that it was Brass, would you pass at 10K?
Pillar of the Community
Canada
2992 Posts
 Posted 04/23/2019  9:27 pm  Show Profile   Check Pacificoin's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add Pacificoin to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Yes , I would pass for sure!
10 K would give me a very nice upgrade to my 1795 Dollar.
Edited by Pacificoin
04/23/2019 9:32 pm
New Member
Canada
35 Posts
 Posted 04/23/2019  9:43 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add whatdowehavehere to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
therein lies the rub, so to speak, because many people would look at that as an easy 1-2K profit
New Member
Canada
11 Posts
 Posted 04/23/2019  11:12 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Sid Belzberg to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
The 1859 Brass Cent has been a desirable coin for many decades. In the early Charlton Catalogue's they were listed in the Essai section. The 1959 CNA auction featured one. When I started collecting in the early 1970's I was always watchful for one at the coin shows. Back then the Charlton listed them around $25.00 in good and up to $300.00 in proof. Then again Seaby's sold the 1911 dollar in 1960 for the princely sum of $3500.00! Things change but the desirability for the 1859 brass cent is not a product of recent "hype" or marketing. If I am not mistaken even the Breton catalog lists it.
How the Brass cent came to be was a matter of conjecture years ago and it still is today.
Edited by Sid Belzberg
04/24/2019 2:25 pm
New Member
Canada
35 Posts
 Posted 05/10/2019  7:48 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add whatdowehavehere to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Update: A friendly scrap yard up the street has a 'gun' which they use to check on such things... this coin has, apparently, a lethal amount of Selenium in it. The mixed-pot theory is assumed correct. It was a freebie, so no printout. Still looking for a local polytech college or business which may have a standard XRF machine...

For grins, I asked the American Brass Company if any Copper/Selenium alloy is considered a Brass...
Edited by whatdowehavehere
05/10/2019 7:55 pm
Pillar of the Community
United States
2385 Posts
 Posted 05/10/2019  8:11 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add okiecoiner to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Out of the 100's of coins that we XRF'd, not a single one had any selenium in it at all .. selenium may not have been discovered by the 1850's. I don't think that the junk yard had state of the art equipment.
New Member
Canada
11 Posts
 Posted 05/10/2019  8:15 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Sid Belzberg to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
A quick Google Search shows Brass alloys that have Selenium often in combination with bismuth.
New Member
Canada
35 Posts
 Posted 05/10/2019  9:37 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add whatdowehavehere to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
"Out of the 100's of coins that we XRF'd, not a single one had any selenium in it at all .. selenium may not have been discovered by the 1850's. I don't think that the junk yard had state of the art equipment."

Okie, I'll give them this one. This coin is y-e-l-l-o-w(ish); there were only trace elements of Zinc-Tin-Lead-etc., so *something* had to turn this that color. Now mind you, the tech of their Precious Metals division had no idea what he was looking for. I said: "Is THAT Selenium?" when I saw the symbol and number. "Yup it is" he said, and that was that. It would perfectly explain the "Bad Mix Melting Pot" idea for the Brass, etc Cents. If the number I receive from the ABC matches what I saw, then what?
(Sid: I wasn't looking for Bismuth-nevermind Selenium-but all other Elements were only traces)

*Selenium: Discovered in 1817. Atomic Weight: 34 (near Copper and Zinc)
Edited by whatdowehavehere
05/10/2019 10:04 pm
Pillar of the Community
Learn More...
Canada
7478 Posts
 Posted 05/10/2019  10:44 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add DBM to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Selenium replaced lead in certain brass alloys,within the last fifty years.
Before the addition of lead was banned it was far more cost effective to use lead to acheive the desired properties, extremely unlikely that selenium was used in 1859.
"Dipping" is not considered cleaning...
-from PCGS website
New Member
Canada
35 Posts
 Posted 05/10/2019  11:07 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add whatdowehavehere to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
"Before the addition of lead was banned it was far more cost effective to use lead to acheive the desired properties, extremely unlikely that selenium was used in 1859"

Then we may have something here! In defense of the 'Scrap Yard': Guards, Precious Metals division, I had to sweet-talk, etc. They do I would imagine 8 Figures at least... and they do not do what I was asking for at all. They thought it odd but accommodated me. The only comparable operation I was lucky enough to see was Metalor's.
Edited by whatdowehavehere
05/10/2019 11:17 pm
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