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These coins are cousins to the hobo nickels. They are usually Trade Dollars, less often seated dollars, that have been modified through engraving to look like a (usually) nude Ms. Liberty sitting on a commode or chamberpot. I think they were mostly done with Trade Dollars because those coins were demoniterized and were no longer legal tender. As a result the Trade Dollars were worth only their silver content, which was a lot less than a dollar in the late 19th century.


The prices on these coins have gone up a lot in recent years. Well done pieces now can sell for $100 or more. Sadly that will probably lead to the same sort of modern knock-offs that have ruined the hobo nickel market. On the up side, Trade Dollars are a lot scarcer than Buffalo Nickels, which may keep that bad trend from spreading.

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Since these "POTTY DOLLARS" are not authentic, why the high prices for them? At least my "POTTYNAUT" State Quarters are authentic and are made by the US Mint. You mean if I alter a coin, it can go for much more than the real thing?





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Some modified coins have come to be viewed as works of art. For example people who collect Depression era items and artwork, like glassware and drawings, become interested in hobo nickels because they are a reflection of the times. There are also those who collect encased cents, which date from the early 1900s to the present.


Another area of interest for some is love tokens, which are coins that have engravings usually on one side with initials or prehaps a scene. Some of these coins are beatifully done. Some are linked into family braclets, which had the names or initials of the husband and wife and each of the children.


Another popular area are coins that have been had hollowed out in the center and then had a door on a hinge made from one of the sides. (There is a fancy name for these, but I can't recall it at the moment.) It's hard to tell that some of these coins have been modified when the door is closed. (If there is any interest in this type of item, I could post a picture.)


Many of these are made from Trade Dollars, but I have seen Columbian half dollars as well. Some dealers hype them as opium smuggling devices, but it's more than likely that they were used as lockets. The prices for these items have increased over 5 fold over the past ten years. (e.g. from $40 to $50 to well over $200.)


Just because a coin isn't "normal" does not mean that it is worthless. If collectors take a fancy to something, it will have value.

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