Author Topic: A taxonomy of countermarks  (Read 188 times)

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Offline <k>

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A taxonomy of countermarks
« on: February 19, 2021, 03:00:47 PM »
I have never had any interest in countermarked coins. They seem to me to be a spurious phenomenon. I have however occasionally had a vague interest in the interest itself. Could that be called a meta-interest? I remember commenting to our member brandm24 that he was a sociologist of numismatic vandalism. To my consternation, he seemed to take it as a compliment.

With coins, we sometimes have to figure whether a coin is real, fake, or a fantasy. With countermarked coins, the crucial factor is whether the intention behind the decision to make the countermark was genuine. Here we enter rather dubious territory. You may remember the crop circles that began - ahem - cropping up in Wiltshire, England. The question was, who had made them, and why? Eventually it was decided that extraterrestrials had made them in order to bamboozle humans. Could extraterrestrials be behind the countermarking phenomenon? Well, I have searched YouTube for a single video of any human spontaneously and with any genuine motive - political or otherwise - counterstriking a coin. No such video exists. My suspicion, however, is that extraterrestrials would likewise not bother themselves with such trivia. It is far more likely that goblins are behind the phenomenon. As you see from the photo below, goblins love working with metal. They also love fooling people. It's pretty clear to me that they have set out to bamboozle poor brandm24, whose finds consist of only two categories: countermarks done by goblins, and countermarks done by humans with totally fraudulent motives, and not least financial ones.

My insight is probably way ahead of its time, but one day - maybe in 50 years' time - I hope to be awarded a posthumous Nobel Prize for my pioneering work.

Now, brandm24, if you are not shattered by this revelation, how exactly would YOU categorise these countermarks and the motives behind them?
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Offline THCoins

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Re: A taxonomy of countermarks
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2021, 04:34:34 PM »
I can see only one flaw in your reasoning:
The statutes of the Nobelprize, since 1974, state that it may not be awarded posthumously.
So, you would have to die directly after it is anounnced that you won it to make your hopes come true.  :-\

Offline CTX3030

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Re: A taxonomy of countermarks
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2021, 04:45:11 PM »
Here is a YouTube video of a museum curator counterstamping a coin.

« Last Edit: February 19, 2021, 06:30:53 PM by <k> »

Offline <k>

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Re: A taxonomy of countermarks
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2021, 06:34:36 PM »
I can see only one flaw in your reasoning:
The statutes of the Nobelprize, since 1974, state that it may not be awarded posthumously.
So, you would have to die directly after it is anounnced that you won it to make your hopes come true.  :-\

Hmm. It sounds as if you're going to make me an offer that I'd rather refuse.  :o
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Offline <k>

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Re: A taxonomy of countermarks
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2021, 06:36:55 PM »
Here is a YouTube video of a museum curator counterstamping a coin.

Promoting vandalism, and at your age, too. Hang your head in shame, CTX3030.  >:(
« Last Edit: February 23, 2021, 07:13:32 PM by <k> »
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Offline Figleaf

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Re: A taxonomy of countermarks
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2021, 08:17:38 PM »
OK, I'll take the bait and do the work you ought to have done to earn the prize. BTW, you can keep the money, but I want the medal. In order of actual importance:
  • Identification: soldier's dog tag, tool check, theatre cloak room chit etc.
  • Tally: one pair of shoes produced, one big heavy sack of coal carried on board etc.
  • Advertising. Eat at Joe's, vote for the nudist party, kill all ants etc.
  • Probatio pennae. Trying out a punch, wanting to put your name on something, being bored, feeling like whacking something etc.
Surprisingly few classes I could think of. Maybe it's the wine I had with dinner.

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

Offline brandm24

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Re: A taxonomy of countermarks
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2021, 10:24:05 PM »
I have never had any interest in countermarked coins. They seem to me to be a spurious phenomenon. I have however occasionally had a vague interest in the interest itself.

So you have an interest in not being interested, <k>? A vague interest of course.

I remember commenting to our member brandm24 that he was a sociologist of numismatic vandalism. To my consternation, he seemed to take it as a compliment.

Well, of course I did. I've never been granted a title before, so being a sociologist of numismatic vandalism is quite special to me. It beats being called a lazy no-good husband. ;D

You may remember the crop circles that began - ahem - cropping up in Wiltshire, England. The question was, who had made them, and why? Eventually it was decided that extraterrestrials had made them in order to bamboozle humans. Could extraterrestrials be behind the countermarking phenomenon?

Extraterrestrials have long been regarded as accomplished counterstampers...and engravers, <k>. Goblins not so I'm afraid.

Bruce
« Last Edit: February 19, 2021, 11:31:28 PM by Figleaf »
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Offline <k>

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Re: A taxonomy of countermarks
« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2021, 12:51:32 PM »
OK, I'll take the bait and do the work you ought to have done to earn the prize. BTW, you can keep the money, but I want the medal. In order of actual importance:
  • Identification: soldier's dog tag, tool check, theatre cloak room chit etc.
  • Tally: one pair of shoes produced, one big heavy sack of coal carried on board etc.
  • Advertising. Eat at Joe's, vote for the nudist party, kill all ants etc.
  • Probatio pennae. Trying out a punch, wanting to put your name on something, being bored, feeling like whacking something etc.
Surprisingly few classes I could think of. Maybe it's the wine I had with dinner.

Peter

A nice start, though I was hoping for something lengthier. Here I tried to categorise the various types of fantasies: Discussion: categorising fantasies.
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Offline FosseWay

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Re: A taxonomy of countermarks
« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2021, 06:51:23 PM »
I'm not sure love tokens fit into any of Peter's categories, so they may form a fifth group.

Offline Figleaf

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Re: A taxonomy of countermarks
« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2021, 09:51:32 PM »
You can add "wire gauge" to the identification category examples. Those examples can of course be turned into sub-categories.

I like the idea to add love tokens, though some are simple "remember me" pieces with incomplete name(s), while others are detailed engravings. You can shoehorn the former into the identification category - on many specimen it won't even be clear if they are love tokens - but the latter deserve better.

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