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"The Rosa Americana Coinage of William Wood"
by Sydney F. Martin

To order, contact:

Charles Davis
P.O. Box 547
Wenham, MA 01984
Numislit@aol.com

Tel: (978) 468 2933
Fax: (978) 468 7893

Book Price is $85 in US Dollars
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Shipping to Canada - $28.00
Shipping to Europe - $48.00

THE ROSA AMERICANA COINAGE

OF

WILLIAM WOOD

by

Sydney F. Martin

C4 Publications
The Colonial Coin Collectors Club


TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

Introduction                                                                                                                       xvi
Preface                                                                                                                                                xviii
Acknowledgements                                                                                                           xix
Abbreviations Used                                                                                                           xxi
Translation of Legends found on Wood’s Rosa Americana Coins and
            Related Medals                                                                                                     xxii

 

Chapter                                               Title                                                                     Page

1          A Brief History of the Rosa Americana Coinage of William Wood                        1
           
2          Circulation in the American Plantations                                                                 21
            2.1       Early Circulation or Lack Thereof                                                              21
            2.2       Later Circulation                                                                                         22
            2.3       Recoveries and Finds                                                                                  23

3          Making the Coins                                                                                                    31
            3.1       Design Considerations                                                                                31
                        3.1.1    Obverses                                                                                         31
                        3.1.2    Reverses                                                                                          31
            3.2       The Coining Process                                                                                   33
                        3.2.1    Die Preparation                                                                               33
                        3.2.2    Matrix and Punch Preparation                                                        38
                        3.2.3    Planchet Preparation                                                                       39
                                    3.2.3.1   Pre-patent Patterns of 1717                                              40
                                    3.2.3.2   General Circulation Rosa Americana Coins of
                                                  1722 – 1723 and Associated Patterns                              40
                                    3.2.3.3   Post-1724 Patterns                                                            45
                        3.2.4    Striking                                                                                           46
                        3.2.5    Circulation Wear                                                                             48
            3.3       Manufacturing and Production Facilities                                                   49
            3.4       The Quantities Produced                                                                            51
            3.5       Conventions Used                                                                                      52
                        3.5.1    Taxonomy                                                                                       52
                        3.5.2    Identification Scheme                                                                     53
                        3.5.3    Use of the English Language                                                          53
                        3.5.4    Coins versus Dies                                                                            54

4          The 1717 Pre-patent Patterns                                                                                  61

5          Rosa Americana Halfpence of 1722 – 1723                                                           67
            5.1       Introduction and Summary                                                                         67
            5.2       Presentation of Obverse and Reverse Dies                                                 72
                        5.2.1    Obverse Dies and Their Attributions                                              72
                        5.2.2    Reverse Dies and Their Attributions                                              74
                                    5.2.2.1   Uncrowned Rose Reverses
                                                  (Die Groups A,B, C, D, and E)                                        74
                                    5.2.2.2   Crowned Rose Reverses (Die Groups F, G, and H)         77
            5.3       Attributing Halfpence by Variety                                                               79
            PRESENTATION OF ROSA AMERICANA HALFPENNY OBVERSES      85
            PRESENTATION OF ROSA AMERICANA HALFPENNY REVERSES     101

6          Rosa Americana Pence of 1722 – 1724                                                                119
            6.1       Introduction and Summary                                                                       119
            6.2       Presentation of Obverse and Reverse Dies                                               128
                        6.2.1    Obverse Dies and Their Attributions                                            128
                        6.2.2    Reverse Dies and Their Attributions                                            129
                                    6.2.2.1   Uncrowned Rose Reverses
                                                  (Die Groups A, B, C, and D)                                          129
                                    6.2.2.2   Crowned Rose Reverses
                                                  (Die Groups Ea, Eb, F, and G)                                       131
                                    6.2.2.3   The Rose Bush Reverse (Die Group H)                          132
            6.3       Attributing Pence by Variety                                                                    133
            PRESENTATION OF ROSA AMERICANA PENNY OBVERSES               139
            PRESENTATION OF ROSA AMERICANA PENNY REVERSES               191

7          Rosa Americana Twopence of 1722 – 1724                                                         243
            7.1       Introduction and Summary                                                                       243
            7.2       Presentation of Obverse and Reverse Dies                                               247
                        7.2.1    Obverse Dies and Their Attribution                                             248
                        7.2.2    Reverse Dies and Their Attribution                                              249
                                    7.2.2.1   Uncrowned Rose Reverses
                                                  (Die Groups A, B, and C)                                               249
                                    7.2.2.2   Crowned Rose Reverses
                                                  (Die Groups D, E, F, G, H, and I)                                  254
            7.3       Attributing Twopence by Variety                                                             257
            PRESENTATION OF ROSA AMERICANA TWOPENCE OBVERSES       259
            PRESENTATION OF ROSA AMERICANA TWOPENCE REVERSES       293

8          Post-1724 Rosa Americana Patterns                                                                     325
            8.1       Introduction                                                                                              325
            8.2       Princess Wilhelmina Charlotta Medal 325
            8.3       The 1727 George II Pattern                                                                      326
            8.4       The Pattern Twopence of 1733                                                                 328
            8.5       Other Related Patterns                                                                             331
            8.6       Summary                                                                                                   332


9          Trial and Experimental Strikes                                                                              335
            9.1       Introduction                                                                                              335
            9.2       Presentation of Specially Struck Pieces                                                    335
            9.3       Reeded-Edge Examples                                                                           338
            9.4       Thin Planchet Strikings                                                                             341
            9.5       Off-Metal Strikes                                                                                      342
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Appendix                                            Title                                                                     Page

A         Miscellanea Rosa Americania                         345
            A.1      Errors Introduced During the Coining Process                                        345
                        A.1.1   Planchet Production Errors                                                           345
                        A.1.2   Errors in Striking                                                                           345
            A.2      Post-Strike Modifications                                                                         347
                        A.2.1   Revaluation                                                                                   347
                        A.2.2   Plugged and/or Counterstamped                                                  347
                        A.2.3   Love Tokens, Identification Badges, and Other Engraved
                                    Examples                                                                                       349
            A.3      Reproductions                                                                                           352
                        A.3.1   Struck Copies                                                                                352
                                    A.3.1.1               19th Century Struck Copies                                352
                                    A.3.1.2               Recent Struck Copies                                        352
                        A.3.2   Electrotype Copies                                                                        356
                        A.3.3   Cast Copies                                                                                   358
                                    A.3.3.1               Early Cast Copies to 1950                                 358
                                    A.3.3.2   Recent Cast Copies Since1950                                      361
            A.4      Documentation                                                                                         370
            A.5      Fun Stuff                                                                                                  376

B         Grading Standards                                                                                                381

C         Rarity Estimates for Wood’s Rosa Americana Coins &
                        Provenances Of Classical Rarities                                                            378
            C.1      Purpose                                                                                                     378
            C.2      Rarity Estimates of Rosa Americana Varieties                                         378
            C.3      Provenances of Rosa Americana Pattern Rarities                                     394
                        C.3.1   Rarity and Provenance of 1717 Pre-patent Patterns                     394
                                    C.3.1.1               The Pre-patent Halfpenny Pattern                     394
                                    C.3.1.2   Pre-patent Penny Patterns                                              395
                                    C.3.1.3               Pre-patent Twopence Pattern                             397
                        C.3.2   Rarity and Provenance of Halfpenny Patterns                             398
                                    C.3.2.1   4.1-H.1 Halfpenny Pattern                                             398
                        C.3.3   Rarity and Provenance of Penny Patterns                                    398
                                    C.3.3.1   xx-A.1 Penny Patterns                                                   398
                                    C.3.3.2   xx-A.2 Penny Patterns                                                   399
                                    C.3.3.3   xx-G.1 Penny Patterns                                                   400
                                    C.3.3.4   5.1-H.1 Penny Patterns                                                  401
                                    C.3.3.5   6.1-H.1 Penny Patterns                                                  402
                        C.3.4   Rarity and Provenance of Twopence Patterns                              402
                                    C.3.4.1   1.1a-A.1 Twopence Patterns                                          402
                                    C.3.4.2   1.1b-A.1 Twopence Patterns                                          403
                                    C.3.4.3   3.13-G.1 Twopence Pattern                                           403
                                    C.3.4.4   5.1-H.1 Twopence Patterns                                            404
                                    C.3.4.5   6.1-I.1 Twopence Patterns                                             405

                        C.3.5   Rarity and Provenances of the Post-1724 Patterns                      405
                                    C.3.5.1   1727 Pattern Coin                                                          405
                                    C.3.5.2   1733 Pattern Twopence                                                 405
            C.4      Key Auctions of Rosa Americana Coins                                                  407
            C.5      Museum Holdings                                                                                     407

D         A Correlation of Rosa Americana Varieties in Earlier Taxonomies                     425
                        With the Martin Taxonomy
            D.1      Introduction                                                                                              425
            D.2      Sylvester Crosby                                                                                       425
            D.3      William Von Bergen                                                                                 427
            D.4      Dr. Philip Nelson                                                                                      428
            D.5      Robert Vlack                                                                                             428
            D.6      Don Taxay                                                                                                428
            D.7      Walter Breen                                                                                             430
            D.8      Q. David Bowers                                                                                      432
            D.9      Other Writers                                                                                            432
                        D.9.1   Edgar Adams                                                                                432
                        D.9.2   R. S. Yeoman                                                                                433

E          Wood’s Patent for Rosa Americana Coins                                                           439

F          The Will of William Wood                                                                                   447

G         Metallurgical Analysis of the Coins                                                                      451
            G.1      Introduction and Purpose                                                                         451
            G.2      Chemistry                                                                                                  452
            G.3      Internal Structure of the Rosa Americanas                                               455
            G.4      Hardness and Ductility Testing                                                                456
                        G.4.1   Hardness                                                                                       456
                        G.4.2   Ductility                                                                                        460
            G.5      Surface Bubbling                                                                                      461
            G.6      Summary                                                                                                   464

H         Contemporary Documentation                                                                             467

I           Timeline for the Production of Wood’s Hibernia and
                        Rosa Americana Coins                                                                              481


LIST OF TABLES

Table                                       Title                                                                                 Page

1-1       Raw Material Cost of a Short Ton of Bath Metal                                                    7
1-2       Total Cost Per Ton of Rosa Americana Coins                                                          8
1-3       Expected Weight of Rosa Americana Coins under Two Different,
                        Patent-Specified Weight Standards                                                             8
1-4       Cost to Produce a Rosa Americana Penny under the Three Different
                        Weight Standards – High, Low and Average                                              9

2-1       Rosa Americana Recoveries                                                                                   25
2-2       Geographical Dispersion of Rosa Americana Coins by Denomination                  29
2-3       Distribution by Denomination                                                                                29
2-4       Distribution by Date                                                                                               29

3-1       Composition of Rosa Americana Planchets                                                            42

4-1       Identification and Description of the Pre-Patent Pattern Dies and Types             63
4-2       Metrology of Illustrated Patterns                                                                           65
4-3       Rarities of the 1717 Pre-Patent Patterns                                                                 65

5-1       Halfpenny Obverse Die Groups                                                                             67
5-2       Halfpenny Reverse Die Groups                                                                              68
5-3       Halfpenny Types                                                                                                     68
5-4       Physical Parameters of Rosa Americana Halfpence                                               71
5-5       Obverse-Reverse and Reverse-Obverse Listings for Known
                        Halfpenny Varieties with Rarity Estimates                                                72

6-1       Penny Obverse Die Groups                                                                                  120
6-2       Penny Reverse Die Groups                                                                                   120
6-3       Penny Types                                                                                                          123
6-4       Physical Parameters of Rosa Americana Pence                                                    126
6-5       Obverse-Reverse and Reverse-Obverse Listings for Known
                        Penny Varieties, with Rarity Estimates                                                    127

7-1       Twopence Obverse Die Groups/Subgroups                                                          244
7-2       Twopence Reverse Die Groups                                                                            244
7-3       Twopence Types                                                                                                   247
7-4       Physical Parameters of Rosa Americana Twopence                                             250
7-5       Obverse-Reverse and Reverse-Obverse Listings for Known
                        Twopence Varieties, with Rarity Estimates                                              250

8-1       Descriptions of the Post-1724 Rosa Americana Patterns                                     332

9-1       Known Off-Metal Strikings                                                                                 343


B-1      Grading Standards for Rosa Americana Coins                                                    382

C-1      Definition of Rarity Designators Used                                                                 388
C-2      Table of Rosa Americana Holdings                                                                      390
C-3      Rosa Americana Coins in the Garrett III Sale                                                      409
C-4      Rosa Americana Coins in the Roper Sale                                                             410
C-5      Rosa Americana Coins in the Norweb II Sale                                                      411
C-6      Rosa Americana Coins in the Ford IX Sale                                                          413
C-7a    Rosa Americana Holdings of the American Numismatic Society –
                        Authentic Examples                                                                                  417
C-7b    Rosa Americana Holdings of the American Numismatic Society –
                        Replicas                                                                                                     418
C-8      Rosa Americana Holdings of the British Museum                                               419
C-9      Rosa Americana Holdings of the Museum of Connecticut History                     420
C-10    Rosa Americana Holdings of Colonial Williamsburg                                           421

D-1      Correlation of Crosby Numbers with Martin Numbers                                        426
D-2      Von Bergen Types                                                                                                427
D-3      Correlation of Nelson Numbers with Martin Numbers                                        429
D-4      Correlation of Vlack Numbers with Martin Numbers                                          430
D-5      Correlation of Taxay Numbers with Martin Numbers                                          431
D-6      Correlation of Breen Numbers with Martin Numbers                                          434
D-7      Numbers of Varieties by Type as Described by Breen                                         436
D-8      Correlation – Whitman Numbers to Martin Types                                               437

G-1      Coins Submitted for Testing                                                                                 451
G-2      Analysis of the Metallic Composition of the Sample Coins via Both Energy
                        Dispersive X-Ray and Scanning X-Ray SEM Technology                      453
G-3      Metallic Analysis in Areas of Coin #7                                                                  455
G-4      Hardness Measurements of the Test Coins                                                           459
G-5      Rosa Americana Hardness Compared to that of Some Familiar Coins                459
G-6      Chemical Analysis of the Metal at Each of the Indicated Test Points
                        of Figure G-8                                                                                            462

I-1       Timeline Covering the Production of Wood’s Manx, Hibernia, and
                        Rosa Americana Coins                                                                              482


LIST OF FIGURES

Figure                                      Title                                                                                 Page

3-1       Coin Comparisons                                                                                                   32
3-2       Crown of Henry VIII                                                                                             33
3-3       A Related, Crude Medal of circa 1720                                                                  34
3-4       Comparison of Sample Uncrowned Rose Reverses                                               37
3-5       Comparison of Sample Crowned Rose Reverses                                                   37
3-6       Letter Punch Examples                                                                                           39
3-7       Depthing Considerations                                                                                        39
3-8       Technically High Grade Coins Exhibiting Blistered Surfaces                                43
3-9       Examples of Eroded and Chipped Pennies – The Result of Brittle Planchets       44
3-10     Examples of Planchets that Cracked During Striking                                            44

4-1       Pre-patent Pattern Halfpenny                                                                                 63
4-2       The Three Pre-patent Penny Pattern Types                                                             64
4-3       Pre-patent Pattern Twopence                                                                                  65

5-1       Photos of Representative Examples of Obverse Halfpenny Die Groups               69
5-2       Photos of Representative Examples of Reverse Halfpenny Die Groups                70
5-3       Illustration of Parameters for Obverse Halfpenny Dies                                         76
5-4       Illustration of Parameters for Uncrowned Rose Reverse Halfpenny Dies             81
5-5       Illustration of Parameters for Crowned Rose Reverse Halfpenny Dies                 82

6-1       Photos of Representative Examples of Obverse Penny Die Groups                    121
6-2       Photos of Representative Examples of Reverse Penny Die Groups                     122
6-3       “Broad 3” versus “Narrow 3” on Penny Reverse Dies                                         123
6-4       Examples of Different Obverse Busts Used on Group 2 Rosa
                        Americana Pennies                                                                                    123
6-5       Examples of Different Obverse Busts Used on Group 3 Rosa
                        Americana Pennies                                                                                    124
6-6       Die Interlock Chart for Obverse Dies 5 and 6 with Reverse Dies G and H        125
6-7       Illustration of Parameters for Penny Obverses                                                     134
6-8       Illustration of Parameters for Uncrowned Rose Penny Reverses                         135
6-9       Illustration of Parameters for Crowned Rose Penny Reverses                             136

7-1       Photos of Representative Examples of Obverse Twopence Die Groups              245
7-2       Photos of Representative Examples of Reverse Twopence Die Groups              246
7-3       Illustration of Parameters for Twopence Obverses                                               251
7-4       Illustration of Parameters for Uncrowned Rose Twopence Reverse Dies           253
7-5       Illustration of Parameters for Crowned Rose Twopence Reverses                      256

8-1       The Princess Wilhelmina Charlotta Medal                                                            326
8-2       The George II 1727 Pattern Rosa Coin                                                                328
8-3       The Rosa Sine Spina Family                                                                                 329
8-4       Rosa Americana Twopence Pattern of 1733                                                        330
8-5       Rosa Americana Uniface Twopence Pattern Struck in Steel                                331

9-1       A Rosa Americana Penny on an Oversize, Cut Planchet                                     335
9-2       “Iron Rosa” Twopence                                                                                         336
9-3       Twopence (Variety 1.1a-A.1) on a Penny-Size, Cut Planchet                              336
9-4       Twopence Obverse (Die 6.1) Combined with a Halfpenny Reverse (Die F.2)    337
9-5       Penny Trial (Obverse Die 2.24)                                                                            337
9-6       Twopence Trial (Obverse Die 3.3)                                                                        338
9-7       Uniface Strikings of Twopence Pieces                                                                 339
9-8       Crudely Reeded Rosa Americanas                                                                       340
9-9       Example of a Finely Reeded Edge                                                                       341
9-10     An Extremely Lightweight, Otherwise “Normal” Penny                                     342

A-1      Examples of Double Struck Coins                                                                        346
A-2      Example of an Off-center Penny                                                                          346
A-3      Twopence Cut Down to a Penny-Ha’penny                                                         347
A-4      Plugged and Countermarked Rosa Twopence                                                     348
A-5      Examples of Counterdtstamped Pennies                                                              348
A-6      Love Token Made from a 1733 Pattern Twopence                                              349
A-7      William Wood’s Personal Pocket Piece                                                                350
A-8      A Silver Penny as a Death Commemorative                                                         350
A-9      Examples of Engraved Coins                                                                               351
A-10    Robinson Copy of the 1733 Twopence                                                                352
A-11    Examples of Modern, Struck Chinese Copies                                                      354
A-12    Prototype Cherry Valley “Rosa Americana” Twopence                                       355
A-13    Production Cherry Valley “Rosa Americana” Twopence                                     355
A-14    Rosa Americana Electrotype Molds                                                                     356
A-15    Electrotypes of High Quality                                                                                357
A-16    A Deceptive Electrotype Penny                                                                           358
A-17    Early Cast Copies of the Iron Rosa and the 1733 Twopence                               359
A-18    Extremely Deceptive Cast Copies                                                                        360
A-19    Copies of Rosa Americana Pennies Cast in White Metal                                     360
A-20    Pre-1950 Cast Rosa Americana Halfpenny                                                          361
A-21    Sample Dies for Peter Rosa’s Production                                                             362
A-22    An Example of a Typical Peter Rosa Vulcanized Rubber Mold                          363
A-23    Peter Rosa Copies of Rosa Americana Coins                                                       365
A-24    Numismatique Copies of Rosa American Coins                                                   366
A-25    Dory Development Corporation Copies of Rosa Americana Coins                     368
A-26    ReplicaCoins Corporation Copies of Rosa Americana Coins                               369
A-27    A Gigantic Twopence Made by the Morgan Mint                                               370
A-28    Modern Cast Copy                                                                                               371
A-29    Rosa Americana Example from the “Passport to Newport” Set                          372
A-30    Edge-marked, Cast Copy of 1733 Twopence                                                                        372
A-31a  Chapman-Ryder-Boyd-Ford Provenance                                                             373
A-31b  Elder-Ryder-Boyd-Ford Provenance                                                                   374
A-32    Author’s Documentation                                                                                      374
A-33    An EAC-Breen Provenance                                                                                  375
A-34    A “Whirligig” made from a Rosa Americana Penny                                            376
A-35    1948 and 1949 ANA National Coin Week Medals                                              376
A-36    A 1988 Wooden Chit Featuring a Rosa American Penny                                    377
A-37    Lead Seal                                                                                                              377
A-38    North York                                                                                                           377

B-1      Grading of Rosa Americana Coins by Photograph                                              383

G-1      Preparing the Coins for Testing                                                                            452
G-2      SEM Microphotographs of a Section of Coin #7 Showing Evidence of
            Dezincification of the Exterior Surfaces of the Sample                                       454
G-3      25x Views of Transverse Sections of 1722 Rosa Americana Twopence              457
G-4      Edge Filing to Remove Casting Seam – From a Rosa Americana Twopence      458
G-5      Microphotograph of a Transverse Section of a 1723
                        Wood’s Hibernia Halfpenny                                                                     458
G-6      Microphotograph of the Breakpoint of a Rosa Americana Slice that Occurred
                        During Ductility Testing                                                                           460
G-7      Photo of the Rosa Americana Twopence Used for Studying the
                        Surface Bubbles                                                                                        461
G-8      Microphotograph of a Single Surface Bubble                                                      462

 

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