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US Confederate States 1 Cent (fake) 1861
Since less than 20 genuine Confederate States of American (CSA) cents were ever struck, Bobo, you probably have a replica of this famous coin.
The coin in our picture is a counterfeit. It sells for a few US dollars as a novelty piece. If it were genuine, the catalogs say its value would be $120,000!
The CSA also minted a half dollar. You can read about it at this CoinQuest link.
Perhaps you coin looks similar to the one in our second picture. This coin is a restrike. Restrikes are coins made from original dies, but they are struck well after the actual original date. It turns out that a man named Bashlow uncovered the old (genuine) Conferederate dies in 1961. By that time the dies had been pretty well beat up. There are hammer blows on the obverse (heads side) and chisel marks on the reverse (tails side). Mr. Bashlow hired a private mint to produce a short series of restruck CSA cents, and these carry strong collector premiums today. If you have one in basically uncirculated condition, you might sell it for well over $100.
There is a great write-up about the CSA and related coinage at US Coin Values Advisor.
Of course, Bobo, there is always a faint chance you have a genuine article. If you do, there are several steps that you should take to ensure and preserve the value of your coin. You can contact CoinQuest and send us pictures (use the Contact Us link to start and e-mail exchange), or you can submit your coin for authentication to PCGS, NGC, ICG, or ANACS (look them up on the Internet).
NEVER CLEAN A COIN. CLEANING RUINS VALUE.
The image below shows a side-by-side comparison of genuine and counterfeit CSA cents. With a magnifier and little patience, you can easily tell them apart by inspecting subtle design features. In our example, the hair on one coin is completely different, and other marked differences also appear. There are several different replica coins.
To add even more confusion, there are odd denomination pieces kicking around. These are all most certainly fakes and reproductions designed to fool unwary tourists during their treks through Dixieland. As far as I know, all are worthless, or of low value.
CoinQuest thanks CoinHelp for use of their picture of a genuine cent.
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Categories > United States > US not precious