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Rare Money Blog

By Q. David Bowers, Co-Founder

​From the 18th century onward, countless coins were counterstamped with advertisements and messages. I have enjoyed collecting, studying, and writing about them. In recent times I have consigned quite a few to Stack’s Bowers Galleries auctions, where they have drawn nice bids. Counterstamps are hardly in the front line of interest headline-wise as they are relatively inexpensive—often valued at less than $100 and not often for more than, say, $500.  Among my favorite counterstamps is one that usually sells for $150 to $250 or so and is described within this blog.

Q. David Bowers, Co-Founder

​Illustrated here are images of a fantasy bill or note datelined Washington City July 24, 1880. "Absolute Money for the sum of One Thousand Dollars, Redeemable nowhere," etc., etc. Series 59,843,702,086,231,787. The general distributor is B.F. Butler,  the buffoon nicknamed "Spoons" Butler who supervised New Orleans when the Union took it back from the Confederate States of America in 1862. Uriah S. Stephens, important in the founding of the Knights of Labor, is also on the note. ​

Q. David Bowers, Co-Founder

For this week's blog I revisited some comments I made back in 2006, adding updates.  I had the pleasure of knowing Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr., the famous Baltimore numismatist who from 1925 to 1950 set about building a fine collection, eventually changing his goal to the ultimate: to obtain one of each date and mint and major type of United States coin ever struck.

By Q. David Bowers, Co-Founder

My comments this week are oriented towards newcomer, not to established numismatists. It is my goal to tell what I would do if I had a coin but knew nothing about it.

How do I know what my coin is worth? This is, of course, THE basic question for many people, especially members of the general public who have found a potentially valuable coin in a drawer, safe deposit box, or elsewhere.

Saturday, January 9, 2016 at 12:00 PM, Lexington Room, Waldorf-Astoria

The Medal Collectors of America (MCA) will be holding its winter meeting during the NYINC. It will be held in the Lexington Room at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York on Saturday January 9th at 12 pm local time, and will feature a not-to-be-missed numismatic and historical program entitled “The Lure and Lore of American Medals,” by the renowned Q. David Bowers.

By Q. David Bowers, Founder

For this week’s blog I give listings for numismatic subjects, each with some history or characteristic. Sometimes what seems to be true isn’t! With a nod to “Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me,” the popular PBS radio show, and also to Edgar Allan Poe, one of whose works suggested the title, see if you can find out which of each three is correct!

Ask the Right Question and Win a Gift Certificate from Whitman Publishing

Dave Bowers has been called “the greatest living numismatist,” perhaps even “the most knowledgeable coin expert of all time.” Any way you cut it, Q. David Bowers is the Gold Standard in numismatic knowledge. Now is your chance to “Beat the Gold Standard” at the Whitman Coin & Collectibles Baltimore Expo, November 5-8, at the Baltimore Convention Center.

By Q. David Bowers, Founder

Thank you for your interest in our ongoing series of auctions of the D. Brent Pogue Collection. If you have been a part of the first two auctions of the Pogue Collection – as a bidder, buyer, or interested bystander – we encourage you to continue. You will be part of numismatic history in the making.

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