Copies of rare coins and a fantasy coin have been created by Striker Token and Medal. The pieces include a reproduction of the 1794 pattern half disme (Judd 14) and a fantasy 1815 large cent, the only year between 1793-1857 that the U.S. Mint did not strike the denomination.
Larry Lee, president of Striker, said, ?The short-lived half disme was one of the most important denominations in the American series.? He noted that the only known copper specimen of the coin is in the National Coin Cabinet at the Smithsonian.
The reproduction?s hubs were engraved by former Gallery Mint owner Ron Landis. This was the first collaboration between Landis and Striker, the company to which he sold Gallery Mint in January.
Three other new issues from Striker are 1794 pattern coins. They finish the series started by Landis and Joe Rust.
The new reproductions are the pattern half dime (Judd 15), the half dollar (Judd 17) and the 1794 dollar with stars (Judd 19). All are in copper. Each pattern coin is an exact copy in design, size, weight, alloy and method of manufacture of the original patterns made by the federal Mint over 200 years ago.
The 1815 large cent copies the size and alloy of the original series, but the design was a matter of conjecture. Striker?s chief coiner Timothy Grat said that there was discussion about whether to design the mythical 1815 penny with the classic design used on the large cents from 1808-1814, or to use a bust similar to those used on the 1816-1836 coins.
?Most of the other denominations issued in 1815 used the older motif,? said Grat, ?but the large cent itself was in transition: a better design and a higher-quality planchet demonstrated that the Mint was moving to improve the coin. For those reasons we decided to go with a design similar to 1816.?
The new reproduction will carry the word COPY even though no such coin actually exists. ?The COPY stamp forestalls any question if a discovery 1815 cent is ever made,? Grat said.
Pricing and ordering information for the pieces can be found on the Striker Web site at www.striker-mfg.com.