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A Metal Detecting Find!

Earlier this year I was contacted by a metal detectorist from Maine. He found this website after conducting research on an item he found, as shown here. What he found was the obverse side of a counterfeit Capped Bust half dollar mold used for casting pieces dated 1825; unfortunately the reverse has not [yet] been located!

There are at least two different cast counterfeit 1825 CBH Overton die marriages documented, and this mold may have been used to make one of those. However, I have not yet had the time to identify which Overton obverse this mold can be attributed to. Maybe one of you can let me know!?

Counterfeit U.S. coin paraphernalia, like molds and dies, are quite rare although molds survive/exist more frequently than their counterpart dies. It is reasonably hypothesized that counterfeiters disposed of their molds and dies after use in order to further avoid being connected to the counterfeiting trade. Thus, finding any that still survive is a historical treat for us all to appreciate in some respects.

My documentation of surviving counterfeit CBH molds and dies is still sparse. I believe I've seen between 5 and 10 different molds (complete or one-sided). In contrast, I don't recall seeing more than one or two dies, and none of those are in private collections.

If you own a contemporary counterfeit mold, die, or other pieces of counterfeiting paraphernalia, I'd love to hear from you in order to document its existence, and with your permission share those pieces in future blog posts like this.

I hope you enjoyed this short post about a recent discovery. Who knows what else is out there that will be dug up and discovered by the next metal detectorist!


Winston (

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