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Colonial Canada, Blacksmith Copper, J & C. Peck / N. Starbuck and Son, c. 1835 - 1858
"Blacksmith Coppers" refers to some types of imitation British halfpence struck in colonial Canada. The name comes from the story of a Montreal blacksmith who, "..when he wished to have a [good time] struck two or three dollars of these coppers and thereby supplied himself with sufficient change to gratify his wishes."
The dies, engraved by Benjamin True of Troy, NY about 1835, were for the obverse of a J. and C. Peck Company token (HT 363) and the reverse of a N. Starbuck and Son Company token (HT 368). Howland Wood in "The Canadian Blacksmith Coppers" first published in The Numismatist in 1910, wrote that he believed these dies were sent to colonial Canada after they were discarded, where they were used to strike blacksmith coppers in the early Nineteenth century, before Confederation minting began in 1858.
The Benjamin True dies were usually used only on one side and the other side was struck using locally made halfpenny dies depicting Britannia. The false halfpenny dies were shallowly engraved with minimal detail and the coins were weakly struck. The intent seems to have been to make the coins more acceptable by creating them with a circulated and worn appearance. It is hard to imagine that this type with a hard times token obverse and reverse was acceptable, which is probably why this type is rare. This die combination was not listed by Wood.
The catalog value in Rulau's 4th edition Page # 181 is $300.00 in Fine.
WO38390. Rulau HT-371, Wood -, aF (all are weakly struck), weight 6.426g, maximum diameter 26.3mm, die axis 135o
, obverse PECK'S PATENT MACHINES, IN COMPLETE SETTS MADE AT TROY NY, Peck's machine (obverse for a J. and C. Peck Company token, HT-363); reverse MACHINE SHOP TURNING & BORING, SCREWS FOR PAPER OIL & CIDER MILLS &C., press screw (reverse for a N. Starbuck and Son Company token, HT-368); flan edge defect; rare (R5)
Catalog current as of Saturday, June 15, 2019.
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