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Confederate Mint in Columbia, SC
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13 posts in this topic

Does anyone know anything about the confederate mint that was in Columbia, SC during the civil war and if it was truly a mint? What coinage did it produce?

 

It is a stop we will be making along a tour through town for a staff ride to learn about Sherman's march through the south and the burning of Columbia to include the "mint". There is a grocery store on the site now.

Edited by mtnstyne

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Never heard of it, but I'm very interested. Let me know, my proximity may allow a field trip sometime.

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I never heard of it either but ya never know. That might be an interesting read

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All I can find online is the location that the Publix sits where it used to be. It was burned in 1865. I have a feeling it wasn't really a "mint" but printed confederate currency...I will ask the question of our historian when we do our staff ride in November.

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The Confederate Mint in Columbia South Carolina was originally built in 1864. The Mint printed Confederate paper money, I am not aware of them producing any coinage. The Mint was burned down by Sherman’s troops in 1865. After the war the Mint was rebuilt and warehoused cotton. Currently, the Mint Building (with an addition) serves as a Publix Grocery store.

 

Here is the address and phone number:

Gervais Place (Store #01095)

501 Gervais St

Columbia, SC 29201-3045

 

Main: (803) 255-4351

 

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Other than the four Confederate Half Dollars produced in New Orleans, the Confederates didn't mint any coinage.

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The Confederate Mint in Columbia South Carolina was originally built in 1864. The Mint printed Confederate paper money, I am not aware of them producing any coinage.

Mints make coinage not currency, so this would not be a mint. Most non-collectors don't differentiate between a mint and printing facility and think mints make paper money. Sometime collectors don't seem to understand the difference which is why you will see comments saying things like "if the mint wants the dollar coins to circulate they just need to stop making dollar bills".

 

Other than the four Confederate Half Dollars produced in New Orleans, the Confederates didn't mint any coinage.

On the contrary they produced a fair amount of coinage in 1861, but with the exception of the four half dollars you mentioned the rest of it was struck using Union dies. At New Orleans they struck 1,240,000 half dollars and 2,991 double eagles. (This doesn't include tha coins that were struck using the union dies by the State of Louisiana. The union operated the mint in January, the State took it over and ran it during February, and the CSA took it over and ran it during March.) At Charlotte they struck 887 half eagles. And at Dahlonega they made a small number of gold dollars.

Edited by Conder101

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Other than the four Confederate Half Dollars produced in New Orleans, the Confederates didn't mint any coinage.

 

Correct! The Confederacy ran the Charlotte (NC) mint for a brief time, and the New Orleans mint for a little longer, but was forced to close them in 1861. The reason was not for a lack gold or silver but for a lack of dies. Like most things that had to do with technology in the South, competent die makers were in short supply.

 

Here’s my best “Confederate” coin, the Confederate half dollar restrike. This piece was made in 1876 by the Scott Company in New York City. They took 500, 1861-O half dollars, planed down the reverses and struck them over with the Confederate half dollar die. The obverse is flattened because it was crushed when the reverse was struck. All the Scott Company had for the obverse was a small copper pan that was used to hold the piece in place as it was struck.

 

ConfedRestrikeR.jpgConfedRestrikeO.jpg

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The restrikes sell for good money (More than I can afford) but nothing compared to the originals.

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The restrikes sell for good money (More than I can afford) but nothing compared to the originals.

 

There are only 4 or 5 orginal examples of this coin. Conversely the mintage for the restrikes was said to be 500 pieces. Probably 95%+ of that 500 still exist.

 

Interestingly the "missing" example of the original coin showed up at a New York City coin convention in the late 1950s (1959 I think). The dealer bought it as a restrike only to determine later that it was an original, probably the one carried by Jefferson Davis when Union forces captured him after the war. A drawn out court battle was the result.

 

The one I displayed here is a piece I bought years ago. It's only a so-so piece that has been cleaned. I had a crack at a much nicer one before that which was in a Boston bid wall auction. Unfortunately one of the bidders who constantly bid on everything that I had an interest in bought it. (He figured he'd make money on anything I liked.) :mad: I had had to leave a reserve because I was getting married and was going on my honeymoon.

 

So I lost the lot which included the restrike half dollar and the Scott token (also listed in the Red Book). The way this bid wall worked I was out bid by 25 cents on an $1,100 reserve bid. :(:mad::frustrated:

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Very good information, I suspected as much for the Columbia "mint" that it really didn't mint anything.

 

I will still ask the question during the staff ride and see if I can stump the historian who is hosting it.

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The Confederate Mint in Columbia is indeed, more properly referenced as The Confederate Printing Plant. However, people in South Carolina commonly use the terms interchangeably; in fact, Senator Jim De Mint's surname is actually De Printing Plant. Not many people know that.

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