Site User's Guide (cont’D)

 
 

Each of the seven hundred or so types in the eighty-two Type Sets has a unique Type ID consisting of a one to three letter code symbolizing the Type Set and the position of the member within the type set. For instance BF 1 refers to the first and most common member of the Benjamin Franklin Type Set. FE 1.1 and FE 1.2 refer to Flying Eagles which are flying to the right, whereas FE 2.1 - 2.4 fly to the left. The first number denotes major differences while the second denotes a minor variety. A collector can opt to collect an FE 1 & FE 2 for a complete set, or acquire all six minor varieties. The Method page provides more details about this methodology.


The Fuld rarity scale is used but has been extended to include C numbers (C for Common as opposed to R for rare). When large numbers of R1 and R2 tokens are amassed it becomes necessary to distinguish between common Types, and really common Types. For example, NY630AQ is very common, but much less so than an 1863 Stanton Indian Head. Suffice it to say,  C2 is more common than C1 which is more common than R1 etc. More details on how this works and is calculated are on the Type Rarity Calculation page.


As an example of how the Type Sets Members (TSM) are ordered, let’s look at how the twenty-eight members of the Indian Head Type Set (one of the largest Type Sets) are organized and assigned ID’s. First, all the ID’s start with (I) to designate the Indian Head Type Set. Next, note that members of a each row below are all by the same die sinker. The die sinker with the greatest output of Indian Head CWT (Stanton) is given top row billing, while the die sinker with the least (Marr) has the highest number for the lead digit. Within each row, TSM are organized from most common on the left, to least common on the right. When looking at the matrix organized this way, the most common designs are in the upper left corner and the rarest designs in the lower right. Generally an X 4.5 is considerably scarcer than an X 1.2, but a close look below reveals this is not strictly the case, I 2.3 is an R2 while an I3.4 is an R1, but still you can see the general trend, the upper left member is a C4 and the lower right an R6.


Stanton   I1.1 C4    I1.2 C2    I1.3 R1    I1.4 R2    I1.5 R3    I1.6 R4

Sigel        I2.1 C2    I2.2 C1    I2.3 R2    I2.4 R2    I2.5 R2    I2.6 R2    I2.7 R3    I2.8 R3    I2.9 R3

Horter     I3.1 C1    I3.2 C1    I3.3 R1    I3.4 R1

Roloff      I4.1 C2    I4.2 R1

Scovill     I5.1 C1    I5.2 R1    I5.3 R1    I5.4 R2

Marr        I6 R2

Key          I M1.1 R3    I M1.2 R6


Given the confines of the computer screen and the photo album feature of Apple’s iWeb software, the Type Sets are not presented in exactly this way but are presented in row order (i.e. I1.1 through I1.6, followed by I2.1 through I2.9, I3.1 through I3.4, etc.)


Note also that the ID’s in the last row by Key have M prefixed to the number to designate that they are medalets and likely did not circulate as cent substitutes. In each Type Set the medalets are separated and presented at the end of the Type Set. Insights into how tokens and medalets differ are explored on the Token or Medalet? page.


Wandering a little further afield, Soldier’s ID discs or dog tags are included in Type Sets where the design fits. While these are clearly medals, they are often quite patriotic, by the same die sinkers, and are well cataloged by Maier and Stahl, see their excellent reference work in References.


The Cannon - Cn type set serves as a simpler example as there are no sub-varieties:


WBC                Cn 1 R1

Unknown       Cn 2 R2

Gleason          Cn 3 R4

Gleason          Cn 4 R5 (the reverse of Cn 3)

Jacobus           Cn 5 R6

Glaubrecht     Cn 6 R6

Miller             Cn 7 R7

Unknown      Cn NC R9

Key                 Cn M1 R9


In this case the rarities do increase monotonically with increasing ID number as they do in general. Note that die 170 exists as two R10’s, one in copper (pictured in the Cn Type Set page) and one in white metal. This is not given an ID number as it is effectively Non-Collectible (NC). There are approximately twenty Non-Collectible designs in the Type Sets. Generally these are designs of which there are fewer than five examples known, most if not all are recognized as highly desirable rarities, and the majority or all specimens are firmly ensconced in major collections. That’s not to say that NC’s are never sold, but its an unusual event and pricing is speculative.

Type Set Organization

Auction results are taken from eBay, Steve Hayden, Stacks, Heritage, Presidential Coin & Antique and others. Grades are as specified by NGC, the auctioneer, or for unslabbed tokens on eBay, by my estimation based upon the supplied photographs. Results for damaged, cleaned or otherwise suspicious tokens are not included. Not all auction results are shown, and my biases undoubtedly appear in selecting what has been recorded. However, I have attempted to have quantities sold at different grades representative of the market. For instance an FE 2.1 (1168, 1169) is much more available than an FE 2.4 (1173).

Rather than estimate a value for each type in each grade, I present prices realized at prominent auctions for the three year period covering Jan 2007 to Jan 2010. Matrix columns represent grades of interest. The MS-63 column is for raw tokens except where noted with “N63” or “NGC.” Sometimes additional qualifying information is associated with a price such as “NCS” or a Fuld number for a scarce token. In many cases the actual prices are listed: the cell 1170 in MS-63 shows seven tokens sold and their prices. In other cases there is summary information: the cell 1168, 1169 in ch VF & XF says that there were 20 examples sold ranging in price from $25 to $300 with an average price of $98 and a median price (the sample in the middle when the prices are arranged in increasing order) of $62. There are many factors recorded in my raw information that are not reflected in the matrix: bidding forum, date, particular variety. I have filtered out or highlighted excessively high and low bids, varieties significantly scarcer than the mainstream (for instance two rows for FE 1.1 are presented: 156/524 & 1170 since there is such a large price difference between them.

Prices Realized Table

Die Tables

As an example, three different entries in the A - Army Die Table are shown below. There is a lavender title bar for each TSM containing the Type ID, Name and Rarity and recommendation(s) regarding the best example of the Type. Beneath the lavender bar is a row for each Fuld die that is part of that type. For the A 1.1 example below, Patriotic die numbers 332, 333 and 334 are all deemed sufficiently similar to one another to be represented as a single TSM: A 1.1. The second column details which dies are married with the subject die. For A 1.1, the following varieties constitute the type: 45/332 R1, 47/332 R1, 332/336 R4, 332/0 R9, 51/333 R6, 51/334 R1. Note that no metals are specified, the rarity provided is for the most common metal, usually copper (a), but sometimes brass (b), and infrequently copper-nickel (d) or lead (g). The tokens represented by the dies in the second column are listed from the most common to least common.  Sometimes, when there are many common varieties available, the higher rarities are omitted to save space. When this is done, the rarities omitted are explicitly specified as in the A 2 row “R8 & higher omitted.” Other times R9 or R10 listings are omitted because they are overstrikes, brockages, blank reverses, collector strikes from deteriorated dies or just plain too expensive to be a good choice for the die type.

The third column contains textual notes of three types. First is short information distinguishing the different dies that make up the type. In the case of A 1.1, one can count the tulips in the wreath. This provides a quick check on how similar the dies are. Sometimes a collector may prefer to collect a particular TSM by die. Second is information about die flaws and/or deterioration based upon the photos of tokens I have in my 5000+ photo data base, which believe me, is not nearly enough in either quantity or quality to be definitive - but it is what I’ve been able to see, and pass on to you. Additional insights are avidly sought. The third topic included are any insights regarding demands from other collecting specialities, especially from state, town or merchant collectors.

The second column in A 5 above contains a mixture of Patriotic die numbers and Storecard varieties in a sort of shorthand notation which I will explain. Basically, to save space and typing, storecard information is not repeated if it is the same as that which immediately precedes it. Rather than writing “R6: WI55A-2, WI510X-2, WI510AN-2” I write “R6: WI55A-2, 510X-2, AN-2”. This can even apply to varieties, e.g. “OH165CY-4, OH165CY-49” would be written as: “OH165CY-4,49”

Type Set Descriptions

Each Type Set has a Description Page which is reached by clicking the Type Set ID & Name button just below the decorative graphic on either the Album Page or the Close Up Page for the type set of interest. Each Type Set Description Page has five sections:


Background - provides information about the subject matter of the type set.

Type Set Definition Notes - provides notes about the dies comprising the type set. These notes may include rationale as to why a die was included, why some die was not included, and often contain photographs highlighting die differences between dies comprising a TSM, and/or photographs illustrating a strong or weak strike etc.

Die Table - is a key component of the entire site. It provides information about which CWT are the best representatives of each type, why, and what is the corresponding Fuld number. Even when you’ve already found the design you want at auction, on a list or in a dealer’s stock, it is useful to know where else the design appears and in what rarity and die condition.

Availability and Pricing - a table containing prices realized at auction for each TSM, and in some cases, for the component Fuld Numbers making up the TSM.

Type Set Expansion and Related Tokens - what do you collect after you’ve finished a type set? Several ideas: 1) add a related type set or a new type set, 2) “drill down” by collecting some of the TSM by Fuld die, or in different metals, or 3) the topic of this section, expand the type set outside the boundaries of CWT. This section provides some photographic tie-ins with other token series including : Hard Times, Merchant, Game Counters, Hard Rubber, Trade Tokens, Canadian, English etc. but pretty much all 19th Century.


Because of their extensiveness and importance, additional details are provided below regarding using and interpreting the Die and the Prices Realized Tables.

The top of the page is the same as in the Album Page, but now there is a close up of the TSM and additional information visible, specifically the Fuld ID and rarity of the token photographed and my acquisition information when I own the token, or credit if the photograph is from another source. You can go to the previous token by clicking the appropriate button at left or the next token of the set by either clicking the button at right or clicking the token image itself. You can jump to any token image by clicking its icon at top.


Note that the Download button has appeared in the upper right of the page. Clicking this button will download a high resolution picture of the token currently in view. Each picture is 1280 x 1280 pixels, about half a megabyte in size, and when displayed on a large monitor is about 12” high at full resolution. For the standard CWT diameter of 19.3mm, that’s the equivalent of seeing the entire token, all at once, under a 16x loupe. By comparison, 19.3 mm tokens displayed in the Close-Up page are the equivalent of a 6x loupe while those in the Album Page are 1.5x life size.