CONFEDERATIO PEACE TOKEN
Diameter: 29.5 millimeters
Weight: ±182 grains (11.8 grams)
Obverse: An Indian chief extends his arm to receive an olive branch
from a bird. The surrounding legend reads:
TYRANIS.IN.PERPETUUM.ABEIT.TERRA ("Let the Earth be forever free from
Reverse: Thick, stylized
rays emanate from a letter "G" surrounded by a tight triangle of
thirteen stars. The surrounding legend reads: CONFEDERATIO *
AMERICANA JUVENUS* ("The Youthful American Confederation"). Presumably, the "G" represents God, who
is at the center of the newly formed American Confederation. The
reverse shows numerous, heavy cracks indicative of a late and possibly
terminal state of the dies.
Edge: Plain, apparently
struck in a close collar
Listed as Betts 540 in "American
Colonial History Illustrated by Contemporary Medals" by Charles
Wyllys Betts (issued posthumously in 1894 by Frederic Betts and editors
William Theophilus Rogers Marvin and Lyman Haines Low.
Images courtesy of the
Durham Western Heritage Museum
First described in an 1861
Boston Numismatic Society meeting - Woodward's 1867 sale of the Joseph J.
Mickley collection, Lot 2537 @ $75.00 - Chapman Brothers 1882 sale of the
"Bushnell" collection, Lot 885 @ $45.00 - Proskey's 1890 sale of
the Parmelee collection, Lot 579 @ $16.50 - Byron Reed
Now in the Byron Reed
Collection of Coins and Documents at the Western Heritage Museum in Omaha,
the small piece was last publicly seen in 1890. It has been variously
described as a coin, a token, a medal, a pattern and a fantasy. Lawrence J. Lee, curator of the Byron Reed
Collection, will reintroduce the piece in a slide-show presentation
entitled "A Remarkable Piece Lately Found in Philadelphia."
Because of its iconography and inscription, early numismatists generally
considered the piece to be from the Confederation period of American
history (1783-1789). Originally brought to light at a meeting of the Boston Numismatic Society in 1861, the piece was purchased by Reed at the
Parmelee sale in 1890. It faded into obscurity after the Reed Collection
was given to the City of Omaha in 1895, where it was mis-cataloged as a
Civil War-era token and basically ignored until its pedigree and importance were rediscovered in 1998.
Lee's presentation is scheduled in conjunction with the Central States
Numismatic Society's annual convention, Friday, May 5th, at 11a.m in
Room 103D of the Minneapolis Convention Center, 1301 2nd Ave South, MN