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    (1811-15) Planters Bank Cut 8 Reales, Good 4
    Multiple Countermarks on Each Side, HT-124

    (1811-15) Planters Bank Countermark, Good 4 PCGS. HT-124. See Brunk-112, Brunk-67. Classified as a Hard Times token (HT-124) but more accurately an early American piece from the 1811-1815 period, the "P.B" countermarks on quarter-cut Spanish 8R pieces are thought to be the issue of Planters Bank in New Orleans. A substantial quantity of these pieces were included in large silver deposits made by Planters Bank to the Philadelphia Mint in 1815, 1817, and 1825 -- largely in exchange for federal quarters. Circulating small change was in critically short supply throughout the South during the period, when the cut "two bitts" pieces served as a stop-gap solution in place of U.S. quarter dollars.

    Circular countermarks verified the cut pieces on both the front and back. Several varieties of countermarks were used, including the obverse mark on this piece, which is P.B in script letters, encircled by chain (Brunk-67). The obverse mark is double struck on the present coin, with the chain outline of both strikes easily seen.

    The P.B. portion mark is obliterated by an additional countermark applied to the reverse, where the word "Bad" is punched in script letters -- a prepared punch matching the P.B. letter style. The Brunk reference suggests Planters Bank may have stamped underweight pieces, including those clipped for their silver content, with the Bad mark. As a result, this interesting piece actually displays four countermarks in total -- the obverse "P.B. in chain," which is double struck, and a circular Nouvelle Orleans / Eagle countermark on the reverse (Brunk reverse variety 3), plus the script "Bad" countermark. In that regard, the current piece may be unique.

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

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2017
    4th-9th Wednesday-Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 12
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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