Is this Half Sol from 1721 considered a "US Colonial"?
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I picked this up on eBay recently--it was being marketed as a "US Colonial coin Half Sol, 6 deniers 1721 S".  I first thought that it might really be a "France 1 liard" however, it does look a bit different (note the number of jewels in the crown is 9 and the 1 liard appears to be 5 jewels.  I think it's definitely a 1/2 Sol and according to Numista they did mint 3.8M of the KM#451.7 . If I'm wrong--please let me know. 

According to Coinquest, I drastically overpaid (but I love coins from the 1700 so I'm not feeling too bad about shelling out $50 bucks for something worth $2 :-) ) -- it is incredible that a coin with this much history is valued at $2 when the draped bust cents/half-cents draw so much... which brings me to the question. Is this coin a "US Colonial coin" as marketed?  I don't think so in reading Notre Dame's site about French Colonial coins used in Louisiana (or Canada).  I also don't see it on NGC's list or on that other companies site.  

What do you think?

 

US Colonial coin Half Sol,6 deniers 1721 b.jpg

US Colonial coin Half Sol,6 deniers 1721 f.jpg

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Look in the Red Book.  If it's attributed to the French colonies, it's "US colonial".  The more recent Red Books (which I do not have) also include numerous other coins which circulated in the territory which is now part of the US.  Traditionally, these have not been considered "US colonial".  An example is the pillar dollar.

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I collect anything in the category of coinage that circulated in the US, although I try to stick to more commonly recognized coins or examples of coins found in archeological digs (e.g. look up Jamestown coins) or by metal detectorists. I also stay with 18th century or earlier examples. In other words, I'm more inclusive than exclusive. I suggest you use a a liberal definition of "US Colonial" - you'll have a lot more fun. Finding these coins isn't always easy and more often than not they're raw and tough to price. 

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that is not a coin struck to circulate in the French Colonies as such. It was struck for domestic use but could have wound up in Canada as like most new world colonies there was a shortage of good coins in commerce. I very much like that coin as I collect French copper and it is in a nice collectible grade by my standards

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2 hours ago, LINCOLNMAN said:

I collect anything in the category of coinage that circulated in the US, although I try to stick to more commonly recognized coins or examples of coins found in archeological digs (e.g. look up Jamestown coins) or by metal detectorists. I also stay with 18th century or earlier examples. In other words, I'm more inclusive than exclusive. I suggest you use a a liberal definition of "US Colonial" - you'll have a lot more fun. Finding these coins isn't always easy and more often than not they're raw and tough to price. 

I'm just describing how most US collectors likely see it.  Most collectors go by reference books.  Nothing to do with how I see it.

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This brings up a philosophical question that has always bugged me about my beloved hobby. People talk of "survival rates". Whiskey Tango Foxtrot? How do coins fail to survive? Really! They merely become misplaced, don't they? Unless they fall prey to the melter's pot, or some cataclysmic fire outside a blacksmith's shop, aren't pretty much all coins still out there (or down there) SOMEWHERE? Or when people talk of "survival rates" are they really talking about "survival in mainstream numismatically acceptable condition"?

Yes, when the sun goes into the red giant phase, ALL coins, and everything else, will fail to survive as the sun consumes the earth wholesale, but according to my sources, that ain't happened yet. The big metal recycling center in the cosmos. Open one day only, cuz that's all they'll need to be open. "From dust were ye made, and dust ye shall be".

https%3A%2F%2Fimages.genius.com%2F8504d3ab70b2f5595a376531928dd487.1000x1000x1.jpg

Edited by VKurtB
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19 hours ago, VKurtB said:

This brings up a philosophical question that has always bugged me about my beloved hobby. People talk of "survival rates". Whiskey Tango Foxtrot? How do coins fail to survive? Really! They merely become misplaced, don't they? Unless they fall prey to the melter's pot, or some cataclysmic fire outside a blacksmith's shop, aren't pretty much all coins still out there (or down there) SOMEWHERE? Or when people talk of "survival rates" are they really talking about "survival in mainstream numismatically acceptable condition"?

Maybe, but it's not much of a distinction when 99%+ of a particular coin aren't available to be bought.  That's the reality for my primary series.  I suppose it's possible that these coins with mintages up to 1MM (1767 Peru 1/2R = 1,040,000) could have the 99%+ somewhere in Peru or Bolivia buried in "change jars" but highly doubt it.  If this were true, I presume I would have seen them all over the place in the tourist markets in LaPaz, collectible condition or not which I never have. 

Seldom show up on eBay either, even in the overwhelmingly awful condition almost always available.  I have a saved eBay search for the last few years receiving notifications of new listings daily.  Very little available.  I believe these coins (and others) exist in noticeably higher numbers than is apparent, but not where anything close to most still exist.

This might be somewhat true of US and European coinage which has the most established tradition of collecting.  Non-collectors would be more likely to save it knowing it has value to collectors.  As an example, Coin Facts survival rates for key and semi-key Liberty Seated dates with "noticeable" mintages seem rather low but not sure it's low by a factor of 50 or 100 in some instances, which it could be while still leaving the survival rate rather low.

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@VKurtB yes, 'survival rate' is much more important than 'mintage'....  in regards to US currency I thought this atlantic article had a couple good facts.

here is a great NewYorker article as well... love this part:

"America’s assortment of circulating pocket change is anything but immutable. Colonial-era settlers initially had no coins (or bills) of their own. They therefore depended heavily on barter, and conducted cash transactions with British coppers and other foreign coins, especially Spanish reals. (The “dollars” mentioned in Article I of the Constitution were actually eight-real coins, also known as pieces of eight.) British silver coins were scarce in America because Britain, which had little domestic access to precious metals and hoped its colonists would soon get busy shipping treasure in the opposite direction, forbade their export. In 1702, the alchemy-obsessed master of the British Royal Mint, Isaac Newton, melted down and minutely analyzed the coins of a number of countries to determine their exact content. The results of Newton’s assay were used, among other things, to set the bewildering, constantly shifting exchange rates that were a part of daily commercial life in England and America in the early eighteenth century."

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To get an idea of potential survival rates, need to understand something of the history of the coinage, how it circulated and extent it was collected.

In the example that I used of my primary series, there was a change to decimalization in the mid 19th century, similar to foreign coins remaining legal tender in the US until 1857 (purportedly at least).  But I doubt this or other coinage in Latin America was necessarily heavily melted at the time.  Auction firm Ponterio once told me Bolivia continued to use pillars (and presumably others) until the early 20th century.  Since little coinage was struck between 1909 and 1968, I suspect at least until 1909.

What happened to it or other similar coinage?  Who knows, it could have been melted later.  In 1975 when I was 10, I visited the LaPaz markets once with my late aunt looking for crown sized Bolivianos.  I saw hundreds to thousands in every shop though had no idea of the relative date scarcity and didn't really care.

Now?

Only the 1872 is common in high grades and some of the other dates are readily available in circulated grades but still not often in high grades.  My inference is that the vast majority were exported in the late 1970's silver boom for melting.  Effectively no local collecting and limited demand elsewhere = low numismatic premium = melting pot candidate.

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In South Africa, there was a change to decimalization in 1961 and also a reduction in the silver content from 80% to 50% in 1951.  There was limited local collecting of the Union (aka, sterling) series, so most of these coins are known to have been melted on both occasions.  Even a coin like the 1959 crown with a combined mintage for PL, proof and circulation strikes of just over 6,000 was probably heavily melted in the late 70's silver boom.  It was specifically requested by collectors yet doesn't appear to be anywhere near as common as the mintage would indicate.

In the US, any actually low mintage coin (even relatively) like the 09-S VDB has a noticeable survival rate but this isn't (necessarily) true where limited collecting existed in the past.  South African circulating coins with mintages from 66 (1931 tickey) to 14,000 (1946 2/6) don't have anywhere near the same survival rates of US coinage with a multiple of these mintages.

It's combination of mintage, local collecting, changes in the monetary system, level of travel,  and geographic isolation.

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My point is that I believe the true “survival rate” of many coins is far far greater than the numismatic community believes. The “community” believes a whole bunch of things that are simply factually untrue, such as that almost all slabable coins already have been. Nonsense.

Believing that is hubris on stilts. It boils down to “if we (the Royal ‘we’) haven’t seen it, it doesn’t exist”. Hogwash. Come to rural Pennsylvania and see some of our ubiquitous offline coin auctions. There are utterly MASSIVE numbers of even high end coins not in plastic to this very day. In a single weekend last winter, a saw a raw 1856 flying eagle cent AND an MS65 1916-D dime, also raw, for sale 20 miles apart, both between Reading and Harrisburg, PA. And yes, professional numismatists, including from major firms, verified both.

TPGS population reports are not just fiction, they should be birdcage linings. They are useless for anything else.

Edited by VKurtB
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@vkurtb I've heard that from others 'almost everything that could be put in a slab was'--if that was the case NGC/PCGS would be out of biz...  and I agree about PA--there is a little shop outside of annville, pa that has an amazing inventory and all of it just walked into their store (some great late 1700's dollars)

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11 hours ago, VKurtB said:

My point is that I believe the true “survival rate” of many coins is far far greater than the numismatic community believes. The “community” believes a whole bunch of things that are simply factually untrue, such as that almost all slabable coins already have been. Nonsense.

Believing that is hubris on stilts. It boils down to “if we (the Royal ‘we’) haven’t seen it, it doesn’t exist”. Hogwash. Come to rural Pennsylvania and see some of our ubiquitous offline coin auctions. There are utterly MASSIVE numbers of even high end coins not in plastic to this very day. In a single weekend last winter, a saw a raw 1856 flying eagle cent AND an MS65 1916-D dime, also raw, for sale 20 miles apart, both between Reading and Harrisburg, PA. And yes, professional numismatists, including from major firms, verified both.

TPGS population reports are not just fiction, they should be birdcage linings. They are useless for anything else.

I agree with you when it comes to most US coinage (probably like 95%), but not necessarily others.  It just depends upon which coins anyone has in mind.  You provided two examples, but no US coin like either is even scarce.  Both are also worth noticeable amounts which increases the probability of survival.

The population reports are usually not representative, for a variety of reasons.  In the US, it's due to the owner's preference and the value.  Outside the US, most collectors don't like TPG.

With the coins I collect now, I attribute the scarcity primarily to a lack of local collecting (then and now) and geographic isolation.  There were effectively no local collectors, the coins mostly circulated locally and for a long time, and there was limited travel where the coins could have gone anywhere else.

I also don't just use my personal experience (as most do) to validate my inferences.  I compare my series to one which is better known, in this case the equivalent Liberty Seated denominations.  The estimates may be low in some instances, but enough of the coins are worth enough money where absent hoards, very few of the scarcer dates are likely to be a lot more common where it will make it that much easier to eventually buy it.  If a large multiple actually exist in basal or very low condition, yes the coins are literally available but it isn't relevant to most collectors anyway.

Another input I use is appearances in "name" collections.  In my series, Sellshopp and Patterson are examples.  If a coin is missing or only included in an average or very low quality, it's a very good indication it's actually rare.  Affluent collectors can usually use the dealer network to track down what they want if it's available.  The two examples I gave are pre-internet but still a good just not infallible indication.

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6 hours ago, bernard55 said:

@vkurtb I've heard that from others 'almost everything that could be put in a slab was'--if that was the case NGC/PCGS would be out of biz...  and I agree about PA--there is a little shop outside of annville, pa that has an amazing inventory and all of it just walked into their store (some great late 1700's dollars)

The owner of that shop and I have faced down each other often over some pieces at several auctions. His “budget” often exceeds mine, but not always.

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4 hours ago, World Colonial said:

I agree with you when it comes to most US coinage (probably like 95%), but not necessarily others.  It just depends upon which coins anyone has in mind.  You provided two examples, but no US coin like either is even scarce.  Both are also worth noticeable amounts which increases the probability of survival.

The population reports are usually not representative, for a variety of reasons.  In the US, it's due to the owner's preference and the value.  Outside the US, most collectors don't like TPG.

With the coins I collect now, I attribute the scarcity primarily to a lack of local collecting (then and now) and geographic isolation.  There were effectively no local collectors, the coins mostly circulated locally and for a long time, and there was limited travel where the coins could have gone anywhere else.

I also don't just use my personal experience (as most do) to validate my inferences.  I compare my series to one which is better known, in this case the equivalent Liberty Seated denominations.  The estimates may be low in some instances, but enough of the coins are worth enough money where absent hoards, very few of the scarcer dates are likely to be a lot more common where it will make it that much easier to eventually buy it.  If a large multiple actually exist in basal or very low condition, yes the coins are literally available but it isn't relevant to most collectors anyway.

Another input I use is appearances in "name" collections.  In my series, Sellshopp and Patterson are examples.  If a coin is missing or only included in an average or very low quality, it's a very good indication it's actually rare.  Affluent collectors can usually use the dealer network to track down what they want if it's available.  The two examples I gave are pre-internet but still a good just not infallible indication.

Latin America generally, I suppose. A magnificent collection of important Guatemalan pieces won Best in Show at a recent ANA convention. The exhibitor was himself, Guatemalan, and spoke only broken English.

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54 minutes ago, VKurtB said:

Latin America generally, I suppose. A magnificent collection of important Guatemalan pieces won Best in Show at a recent ANA convention. The exhibitor was himself, Guatemalan, and spoke only broken English.

Many Latin America but I cannot say how many.  I don't follow Brazil but I see a lot of high quality coinage from there without even trying.  Hard to say though whether a specific date denomination combination is common over a 400+ year period.

Guatemalan colonial coinage is usually scarcer than those I primarily buy, but that's presumably mostly due to the much lower mintages.  For pillar minors, we are talking as much as 50 -100:1.  For later coinage (maybe after 1850), much of it doesn't seem to be scarce but I don't know about many individual dates.

The most widely collected earlier series though are at minimum hard to buy in any decent grades and many dates rare or scarce:  most cobs outside the 8s, many pillars, portraits, Mexico Cap & Ray, Lion & Castle quarter real, Chile Volcano.

In some instances, I suspect there is noticeable supply locally for the republic coinage but it's mostly in low or very low quality.  As an example, Chile and Peru seem to be a lot more common than Bolivia.  Otherwise, though US and European collectors probably bought most of the better stuff decades ago.

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