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Original Dies Castorland Medal, Struck Ca. 1845

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Original Dies Castorland Medal, Struck Ca. 1845

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Details

1796 (ca. 1845) Castorland medal. Original dies. Silver. Breen-1064. MS-62 (PCGS). PCGS #665. Reeded edge over plain edge marked with pointing hand and ARGENT. A beautiful strike from the original obverse and reverse dies. The reverse die breaks badly from the rim through S of PARENS into the field, developing into an enormous break and bulge in the right reverse field, but this specimen shows just a thin crack with a light bulge. In an earlier era (or perhaps today in less precise hands), this would have been called an original, as both obverse and reverse dies are original and the edge is reeded, as expected. However, careful examination at 6:00 on the edge reveals the Paris Mint privy mark under the reeding. This privy mark was used from 1845 to 1860, but by the end of that era the reverse die had not only completely fallen apart, it had been replaced with a much more modern-looking die. PCGS has been a bit uneven in their attribution of the various Castorland restrikes -- original dies, original obverse but copy reverse, copy obverse and reverse, reeded edge, plain edge, marked edge, reeded edge over marked edge, etc. -- but they got this one right, calling it "Restrike, Original Dies." The die state is barely later than that found on originals, but the presence of the edge mark allows us to place this within the 1845-60 timeframe, albeit very early in it. The surfaces are lustrous and attractive, with nice reflectivity on the reverse. The peripheral slate blue and gray toning is deeper on obverse than the reverse, which shows a wider variety of opalescent tones in the fields. Some light obverse hairlines are present, but the eye appeal is solid. An "original" strike, i.e. one from these dies and the same reeded edge but without the edge mark, could have been struck anytime from 1796 to 1842. Die state (concentrating on the spalling lines around the right handle of the basin on the reverse, allows for some placement on that broad continuum, but that doesn't tend to have a big impact on price. This would ideally suit collectors who would love to own the type without plunking down the $10,000 or so a similar specimen might run. Breen notes in his description of 1064 ("Second restrike. Same dies, broken, bulged. Silver. Rare." that this variety has ARGENT on the edge and that it "may exist with reeding over ARGENT." Here it is, a type Breen himself had never seen despite his abiding interest in the Castorland series.

Additional Information

Grading Service PCGS
Grade MS62
Designation N/A
Mint Location Philadelphia
Strike Type Business
Circulated/Uncirc Uncirculated
Grade Add On No
SKU or Cert # 26972147

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Description

Details

1796 (ca. 1845) Castorland medal. Original dies. Silver. Breen-1064. MS-62 (PCGS). PCGS #665. Reeded edge over plain edge marked with pointing hand and ARGENT. A beautiful strike from the original obverse and reverse dies. The reverse die breaks badly from the rim through S of PARENS into the field, developing into an enormous break and bulge in the right reverse field, but this specimen shows just a thin crack with a light bulge. In an earlier era (or perhaps today in less precise hands), this would have been called an original, as both obverse and reverse dies are original and the edge is reeded, as expected. However, careful examination at 6:00 on the edge reveals the Paris Mint privy mark under the reeding. This privy mark was used from 1845 to 1860, but by the end of that era the reverse die had not only completely fallen apart, it had been replaced with a much more modern-looking die. PCGS has been a bit uneven in their attribution of the various Castorland restrikes -- original dies, original obverse but copy reverse, copy obverse and reverse, reeded edge, plain edge, marked edge, reeded edge over marked edge, etc. -- but they got this one right, calling it "Restrike, Original Dies." The die state is barely later than that found on originals, but the presence of the edge mark allows us to place this within the 1845-60 timeframe, albeit very early in it. The surfaces are lustrous and attractive, with nice reflectivity on the reverse. The peripheral slate blue and gray toning is deeper on obverse than the reverse, which shows a wider variety of opalescent tones in the fields. Some light obverse hairlines are present, but the eye appeal is solid. An "original" strike, i.e. one from these dies and the same reeded edge but without the edge mark, could have been struck anytime from 1796 to 1842. Die state (concentrating on the spalling lines around the right handle of the basin on the reverse, allows for some placement on that broad continuum, but that doesn't tend to have a big impact on price. This would ideally suit collectors who would love to own the type without plunking down the $10,000 or so a similar specimen might run. Breen notes in his description of 1064 ("Second restrike. Same dies, broken, bulged. Silver. Rare." that this variety has ARGENT on the edge and that it "may exist with reeding over ARGENT." Here it is, a type Breen himself had never seen despite his abiding interest in the Castorland series.

Additional

Additional Information

Grading Service PCGS
Grade MS62
Designation N/A
Mint Location Philadelphia
Strike Type Business
Circulated/Uncirc Uncirculated
Grade Add On No
SKU or Cert # 26972147

Related Blog Article(s)

Listed below are blog articles related to this product listing, if applicable:

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