Previous Coin on the "Cool Coins" Tour | Next Coin on the "Cool Coins" Tour

Obverse of Confederation Peace Token     Reverse of Confederation Peace Token


Mintage: Unknown

Designer: Unknown

Diameter: 29.5 millimeters

Metal content:

Weight: 182 grains (11.8 grams)

Edge: Plain

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 Tyrants").

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 55403.

The following illustrations are provided for researchers interested in seeking punch links
with other Colonial issues.  Please report any potential matches to [email protected]

Letteres.JPG (212061 bytes)

Copyright 2000, Inc. - all rights reserved worldwide.
Commercial use of any images or content on this website is strictly prohibited!