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A New Shield Nickel Variety Documented with the ‘X’ Treasury Stamp of Condemnation

Recently, an example of counterfeit Shield nickel variety 1867 Z1-A was sold bearing the large ‘X’ countermark, shown here. This countermark is attributed to the ‘Treasury Stamp of Condemnation’. This is the first documented example of this variety with this countermark, and the 9th documented counterfeit Shield nickel variety bearing this countermark (see list below). These countermarks are known on counterfeit Shield nickel varieties from both the so-called York Street Mint and Stooge families. Seven (7) more varieties between these two families are still not known with this countermark. However, given the rate of discovery and documentation, I anticipate some of these outstanding 7 varieties will be documented in the future with this countermark.

It is easy to understand why only counterfeit Shield nickels are known with this ‘X’ countermark when you understand the context of the coinage economy at that time. When these countermarks were applied, in 1870 or thereabouts, little precious metal coinage was in circulation in the eastern-half of the U.S., let alone counterfeits of the same. Therefore, the Treasury could focus their attention on the wave of 1,000s of these counterfeit Shield nickels in circulation.

1. 1867 Z1-A

2. 1867 Z2-C

3. 1867 Z3-D

4. 1868 Z1-B

5. 1868 Z1-C

6. 1868 Z2-B

7. 1869 Z1-B

8. 1869 Z2-G

9. 1870 Z1-H



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