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Can One Visually Discern Compositional Varieties? Two Breton 1004 Tokens.

 
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New Member
Canada
21 Posts
 Posted 02/27/2020  6:51 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add blargish to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
I recently acquired a Seated Justice - Ship token (Breton 1004) listed as LC-56B1, which is the 1815-dated variety struck on copper. I already possess a LC-56A2 in my collection, which is the 1812-dated variety struck on brass, and couldn't help but notice that my newly acquired token appears to have the same brassy-yellow colouration.

For LC-56B, the brass (2) variety is significantly rarer than the copper (1) variety. Is it even possible to discern a token's composition based on its visual appearance? I understand that many factors can allow copper-based coinage to acquire a wide variety of colours from toning. However, my two examples possess nice detail, are problem-free, and are of similar grade allowing for ease of visual comparison.

Pictured below are the two tokens. I took the photos in a manner to try and accurately capture their colours.

LC-56B? on left and LC-56A2 on right



Any thoughts are appreciated!

Cheers
Bedrock of the Community
United States
32622 Posts
 Posted 02/27/2020  7:17 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add John1 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Not my area just wondering, is there a known weight difference? Maybe try a XRF test?
John1
( I'm no pro, it's just my humble opinion )
Searched 5+ Million Cents Since 1971
New Member
Canada
21 Posts
 Posted 02/28/2020  8:02 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add blargish to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I have not been able to gather any information regarding weight other than the average weight of both varieties (in Charlton). An XRF would unequivocally assign the variety, but I do not have the means to conduct such a test. I was hoping that someone familiar with Breton 1004 or other brass/copper tokens would be able to chime in on potentially helpful visual cues.
Bedrock of the Community
United States
32622 Posts
 Posted 02/29/2020  04:31 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add John1 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I guess we will have to wait and see what other members say.
John1
( I'm no pro, it's just my humble opinion )
Searched 5+ Million Cents Since 1971
Valued Member
United States
190 Posts
 Posted 02/29/2020  09:16 am  Show Profile   Check 1960NYGiants's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 1960NYGiants to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
My experience is that copper and brass tone to similar colors. If the piece has a yellowish green under tone then I tend to classify it as "brassy". If red tinged brown then "copper". Only an XRF will ultimately determine truth. Check with your local B+M shop they may have an XRF machine.
Pillar of the Community
Canada
3283 Posts
 Posted 02/29/2020  09:52 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add oriole to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
SPP-Ottawa has stated that the composition cannot reliably be determined from the visual appearance. He has done a number of tests with an XRF.
Valued Member
United States
399 Posts
 Posted 03/01/2020  09:30 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add dan-in-crystal-lake to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Oriole, I agree, SPP-Ottawa has done extensive work on this topic using early large cents. Colour is not a reliable indicator of composition. Hopefully he'll chime in on this thread with a couple of comments.
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Canada
8917 Posts
 Posted 03/01/2020  11:26 am  Show Profile   Check SPP-Ottawa's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add SPP-Ottawa to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Is it even possible to discern a token's composition based on its visual appearance?


No.

I have tested a large number of tokens, working with Chris Faulkner and his token collection. Colour is NOT a reliable indication of composition.
"Research is what I am doing, when I don't know what I am doing" --Wernher von Braun

Content of this post is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses...0/deed.en_US

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New Member
Canada
21 Posts
 Posted 03/02/2020  01:11 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add blargish to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thank you for all of your responses! This has been educational for me. Looks like I'm going to have to try to get my hands on an XRF!

Cheers
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