• When you click on links to various merchants on this site and make a purchase, this can result in this site earning a commission. Affiliate programs and affiliations include, but are not limited to, the eBay Partner Network.


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

The 1823 Broken 3

5 posts in this topic

The broken 3 has been on my 'want list' for a long time. I missed out on getting a really nice one that sold in auction a couple of years ago (for moon money but defnitely worth it). I found this little Lady raw, at Osburn's table in Baltimore recently, sent it in for grading and encapsulation. This is not my ideal 1823, but a decent broken 3 and I'll always be open to a nicer one (should anyone want to sell one to me).


ah...since I also have the 'patched 3' and the 'ugly 3', I'll post them also, in that order, after the broken 3.


There were 1,694,200 50C pieces minted in 1823 with 11 obverse and 12 reverse dies, allowing for 13 different die marriage that year. This is the Sub Design Type #4 of 1817-1825 according to Souders.


The engraver is ? for this year because Scot was ill and Kneass not yet appointed.


It was thought that the "3" punch broke (the 'broken 3' variety) and was eventually patched (the 'patched 3 variety).


According to Souders, Scot was ill at this time and died in the latter part of 1823, and Kneass was not yet the engraver. There is the thought that an inexperienced person created the die punch for the '3', but Souders doubts this is likely, and suggests that the '3' punch was 'simply a very unfinished numeral' which the mint probably thought would work, but it didn't (the 'broken 3') and was 'patched' with an 'odd shaped punch' sunk into the junction between the two curls of the 3.







Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm bringing this to the top, not meaning to be self-indulgent, but these blunders are a significant revelation of what things were like at the US Mint at that time, and also indicative of what the capacity to handle situations and mishaps was, in lieu of both their machinery, their finances and their leadership.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm sorry I missed this thread during its first go-round. Truly, these are artifacts of a time that is largely lost to history and they can help to explain what was going on in the early US Mint. They are very cool.

Link to comment
Share on other sites