Author Topic: Hard times rijksdaalder  (Read 1782 times)

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Offline Figleaf

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Hard times rijksdaalder
« on: May 01, 2008, 09:48:35 PM »
This coin started life as a common 1854 rijksdaalder struck at the Utrecht mint and it's back in that country now, in the collection of one of my friends. However, it made a transatlantic detour to get there. Somewhere, someone saw fit to decorate it with the name .W.McRAE. on both sides. That's not really a Dutch name. I found a William McRae, born in Clio, SC between 1842 and 1844 here. He was an African American and illiterate, but he could apparently move to another state. He would have been in his forties at the time of the American civil war. Could this have been a hard times dollar?

Peter
« Last Edit: May 01, 2008, 09:54:37 PM by Figleaf »
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline villa66

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Re: Hard times rijksdaalder
« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2011, 11:47:23 PM »
An attractive and interesting piece, and wouldn't it be something to really learn its history?

For what it's worth--and as alluring as it is to make the connection--I'm afraid I would skip the idea of this coin as a Civil War piece (except perhaps as an ID tag, which doesn't seem likely either). Foreign coins were demonetized in the U.S. in 1857 (the process to be completed by 1859), and so this coin had lost whatever officially-sanctioned utility it might have had in the U.S. by the time of the Civil War.

But metal was money, of course, so?

Had it shown itself it likely would have disappeared right away, and not circulated. And if it was an advertising piece of some sort, which seems more likely--and if it was an American or American concern being advertised--to use a silver piece for advertising purposes during the Civil War seems like very bad business indeed.

 :) v.

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Hard times rijksdaalder
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2011, 12:26:37 AM »
The official weight of this coin was 25 grams exactly, fineness 0.945, giving a silver content of 23.625 grams. How does that compare to a silver dolar of those days?

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

constanius

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Re: Hard times rijksdaalder
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2011, 03:40:20 AM »


Here is a William MacRae http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_MacRae who to me bears some resemblance to Willem.  So if they shorten MacRae to McRae.....?
« Last Edit: December 29, 2015, 11:19:51 AM by Niels »

Offline villa66

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Re: Hard times rijksdaalder
« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2011, 03:57:58 AM »
The official weight of this coin was 25 grams exactly, fineness 0.945, giving a silver content of 23.625 grams. How does that compare to a silver dolar of those days?

Peter

The contemporary silver dollar weighed 26.73 grams and had a fineness of .900, yielding a marginally higher silver content than the rijksdaaler of that time.

 :) v. 

Offline brandm24

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Re: Hard times rijksdaalder
« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2019, 05:39:12 PM »
The coin minted in 1854 wouldn't qualify as a Hard Times piece as that era was considered to run from 1833 to 1843, possibly 1844. All examples of private coinage were either the size of a Large Cent or Half Cent, and all in copper.

It isn't likely to be Civil War either, although the William MacRae discovered by constanius was a Confederate General in the war. It isn't holed and doesn't show any damage or heavy wear. I found out a bit about the MacRae family, and never saw any indication that they changed the spelling of their name.

I can't find a listing for this issue in any reference and because of the common surname it would be very difficult to attribute. I like counterstamps on different coins like this, but they're rarely encountered. This may not be a US issue.

Bruce

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