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    Description

    1864 MI-865A-3a Saranac Token, VF20
    Unlisted Variety
    Only Two Known

    1864 W. Darling, Saranac, MI, F-865A-3a, R.9, VF20 NGC. This token is unlisted in the Fuld reference with seven stars above, five stars to the left (two obliterated due to strike), and five stars to the right. The inscription, W. DARLING / SARANAC / MICH / 1864 appears on four lines. The other varieties have different star counts: 865A-1a has five stars above, four left, and four right; 865A-2a has six stars above, four left, and five right.
    All three Saranac varieties are rated R.9, meaning that two to five examples of each are known. We are aware of only two examples of the present variety, and believe that only three or four each of the other two varieties are known, for a total population of 10 or fewer Saranac tokens. The only other appearance of the 865A-3a variety known to us was in a Stack's auction in September 2009 when an AU53 NGC example realized $9,775.
    Walter Darling was a shoemaker in Saranac who was born in New York about 1814, the son of Benjamin Darling and Hannah Kingsley. He is listed in the 1850 Census for Manlius, Onondaga County, New York, and in the 1860 Census in Saranac, Ionia County, Michigan. The name of W. Darling appears as a justice of the peace in Ionia county as early as 1857. His name appears in several editions of the Michigan State Gazetteer and Business Directory including 1859 and 1877. A news brief appeared in the Jackson Citizen Patriot, June 12, 1877: "Mr. Walter Darling, of Saranac, had dug in the bottom of his cellar a well 18 feet deep and 8 inches in diameter, using an old coffee-pot attached to connecting rods to dig with." His tombstone is located at the Saranac Cemetery and pictured at findagrave.com.
    The obverse of this piece exhibits olive, steel, and mahogany patina with mostly maroon on the reverse. The obverse surface is glossy, the reverse a trifle dull. A few imperfections are noted, including light file marks at the reverse periphery from 3 o'clock to 4 o'clock. Those may have been on the planchet prior to striking, as the obverse shows weakness opposite the file marks. A remarkable rarity, and an incredible opportunity for the Michigan specialist.
    Purchased from B. Gilman for $1.50.
    From The Clifton A. Temple Collection.


    Learn more at the Newman Numismatic Portal at Washington University in St. Louis.

    View all of [The Clifton A. Temple Collection ]

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    Auction Dates
    April, 2012
    18th-22nd Wednesday-Sunday
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