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    Description

    1861 Jefferson Davis 'Dime' in Gold, AU Details
    DeWitt-C-1861-1, Ex: Jefferson Davis Estate

    1861-Dated Jefferson Davis Dime (Medal) -- Mount Removed -- NGC Details. AU. DeWitt-C-1861-1, Bertram-C861-118a. Ex: Jefferson Davis/Partrick. 48.9 grains. Reeded Edge. 48% gold, 26% silver, 26% copper. This curiosity has been called a dime over the decades, even though it is struck in gold alloy and has been called a medal or medalet since first discovered in 1879. It is approximately the size of a dime. Mount removal is seen on the rim at 12 and 7 o'clock. The Jefferson Davis dime is related to the so-called General Beauregard dimes and Stonewall Jackson dime. Legends on the Jackson piece are in French; those on the Beauregard and Davis pieces are in English. But all share a common engraver, the unidentified C.R, and all originated in France. Little more is known about the Davis dime; and in fact little has been added to our knowledge since it was first announced in Édouard Frossard's Numisma in May 1879:

    "We lately saw at the office of Mr. Wm. P. Brown, in New York, a medalet of Jefferson Davis, the late president of the Confederacy. The owner of the piece, who had left it with Mr. Brown for sale at a very high price, affirmed that the token is unique, but could or would not give any details concerning its history, except that it had been in his possession for many years, and is an authentic piece."



    The common theme of all three of these pieces is Heroes of the South. The reverse legend of this piece, CSA FIRST PRESIDENT, suggests it was struck as early as 1861 (or shortly afterward). The 48% gold alloy is also indicative of an early striking period. If the piece was indeed produced during the Civil War, it surely would have been early, as gold was more available than in later years. Walter Breen estimated a dozen examples were known of the Jefferson Davis dime. Most are silver, some are gilt, but this appears to be the only piece with a significant gold alloy.

    This example has a singular importance not only because of its gold alloy, but also because it belonged to Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederacy. The first appearance of this piece was in the Charles Morris auction, conducted by the Chapman Brothers, April 19 and 20, 1905. Lot 1013 reads, in part:

    "The only specimen known in this metal, excessively rare in the other known metal, silver. Extremely fine. Has had loop removed from edge. Milled edge. Accompanying it is a copy of a letter from Jeff. Davis's daughter, who states they were made in Paris."


    The copy of the letter from Davis' daughter is now lost, but its one-time existence links this gold example to the President of the Confederacy, and testifies to its French manufacture. The surfaces are muted reddish-gold with brighter yellow high points. Only three as-made surface defects are noted. One is a small planchet void in the field near 12 'clock on the obverse, the second is a shallow planchet depression down and to the left of the bottom of the wreath on the reverse, and the third is a deep planchet void at 6 o'clock on the reverse rim. This is an exceptionally rare medalet and it is unique in gold.
    Ex: Jefferson Davis; Jefferson Davis' daughter; Charles Morris; Charles Morris Collection (Chapman Brothers, 4/1905), lot 1013, where it brought $110; Robert Garrett; Johns Hopkins; Garrett IV Collection (Bowers and Ruddy, 3/1980), lot 1999; Donald Groves Partrick; FUN Signature (Heritage, 1/2015), lot 5853.
    From The Warshaw Family Collection, Part IV.


    View all of [The Warshaw Family Collection, Part IV ]

    View Certification Details from NGC

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