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Stone Mountain Counterstamped Half Dollars

August 20, 2009 Articles

In early 1925 the Stone Mountain Monumental Association was looking for different ways to market and help sell their newly issued commemorative. With the profits derived from the sale of a proposed 2,000,000+ coins at $1 each, the Association hoped to defray the cost of carving the massive granite sculpture in Stone Mountain, Georgia.

Along with enlisting the help of banks, insurance companies, and others, the group came up with the idea of “special” counterstamped pieces. There are basically three types of counterstamps, and they are as follows:

1) Regular. Coins were stamped with the state (in abbreviated form) and a number (randomly selected, essentially by a lottery system). These were generally auctioned off in a publicity stunt to raise more money for the Association, and to create a false sense of value for the regular coin being sold at a “mere” $1. Many of the auctioned pieces sold for hundreds of dollars.

2) United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC). These pieces were stamped with the state, number, and UDC. In this instance, the number was the chapter number for the local UDC group. Much scarcer than the regular counterstamp.

3) GL and SL. These were awards to young “white” women between the ages of 15 and 25, who were successful in winning a sales competition of regular Stone Mountain Commemoratives in their locale. “GL” stands for Gold Lavalier, while the “SL” is for Silver Lavalier. Basically first and second place. All these pieces were awarded in bezels, gold for the “GL”, and silver for the “SL”. Sadly, when these pieces came into the “numismatic” community, many of them were stripped of their bezels, as the real story of them was unknown.

At Numismatic Americana Incorporated, we have been students of the little know pieces for decades and have help numerous collectors in their search. All counterstamped Stone Mountains are difficult to find so if this is an area that interests you, let us know and we will be happy to help you locate one or put a collection together.

STONE MOUNTAIN 50C, ARK 182.

NCS encapsulated: Genuine, improperly cleaned.

A huge percentage of the counterstamped pieces were not sold to coin collectors, but rather to veterans of the Confederacy, their spouses, and/or their children. As these coins were made of 900 fine silver, and were generally held in the southern states where humidity is high, many toned, or “tarnished” as it would be called by non-numismatists. Outside of coin collecting channels, the ignorance of cleaning prevails. Many of these pieces suffered such a fate.

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STONE MOUNTAIN 50C, OKLA 36.

NCS encapsulated: Genuine, improperly cleaned.

NCS Cert #5270010003

Oklahoma is by far the most common of the regular counterstamps. Lightly cleaned, barely discernable to the untrained eye.

5270010003_obv5270010003_rev

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STONE MOUNTAIN 50C, OKLA 290.

NCS encapsulated: Genuine, improperly cleaned.

NSC Cert. #5259728003

Although uncommon, Oklahoma Counter Stamps appears more frequently than other states. An inexpensive example that has been lightly cleaned decades ago and is retoning nicely.

5259728003_obv5259728003_rev

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STONE MOUNTAIN 50C, TENN 170. NGC XF 40.

NCG Cet. #3239176005

Light and pleasing wear. Never cleaned which is unusual. Much tougher than the OKLA counterstamps listed above.

3239176005_obv3239176005_rev 

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Contact Information

Numismatic Americana Incorporated
P.O. Box 608
Chester, NJ 07930

William Shamhart, Jr.
Phone: 1-908-962-1500
email: Bill@numismaticamericana.com

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