Question: I am interested in coins of the Confederacy. Can you provide information about what Confederate coins can be collected. Also, I have heard of a "Confederate Dime" bearing the portrait of Jefferson Davis but can't find any information. Did these dimes ever exist? If so, whatever happened to them and why can't I find any more information on them.
Answer: Actual coinage for the Confederacy was quite limited. Included would be:
• Federal design 1861-O half dollars, 1861-C $5 gold coins and 1861-D $1 and $5 gold coins. These were produced in 1861, the same year that coins were made for the Union in the same mints at New Orleans, Charlotte and Dahlonega. These coins shared the same design with federal coins, although some have die characteristics that identify them as having been struck after the mints were taken over by their respective states or the Confederacy.
• 1861-dated cents, believed to have been made as a pattern in 1861 by Robert Lovett, Jr. It was produced in original (copper-nickel struck in 1861) and restrike (gold, silver and copper, struck in 1874). Years later, in 1961, Robert Bashlow, a New York dealer, had some copy dies made and issued copies of these cents as well.
• In 1861, at the New Orleans Mint, four pattern half dollars were made for the Confederacy. These used the federal Liberty Seated die for the obverse design and a distinctive Confederate design for the reverse. In 1879 the original reverse die was used by J.W. Scott, New York City, to make 500 restrikes plus some white metal medalets.
Regarding the "Jefferson Davis" dime, the "Beauregard" dime, etc., these are medalets, not official Confederate Sates of America issues. The number of tokens and medals produced by or for the Confederacy in 1861 through 1865 is very small when compared to the many designs made in Northern states.