The Confederate Cent
Coins Dahlonega Charlotte Essays
In 1861 an official of the Confederate States of America contacted the jewelry firm of Bailey & Co and requested a die cutter who could make a C.S.A. cent. Robert Lovett, Jr. was selected. To make the cent he used the head of Minerva, which he had used on an earlier one cent sized token from 1860, and employed a wreath of distinctive Southern agricultural products, including a bale of cotton at the bottom. Lovett struck twelve coins with his dies, employing the then current Union alloy of copper and nickel used on Indian cents.
Fearing prosecution for aiding the enemy, he stopped his work and hid everything.
Confederate Cent Restrike
In 1873 or 1874 Captain John W. Hazeltine and his associate J. Colvin Randall learned of the coins and dies, and procured them. Seven gold, twelve silver, and 55 copper restrikes were made, with the dies breaking on the 55th copper strike. No copper nickel restrikes were made to preserve the integrity of the original dozen coined by Lovett. The dies were then defaced.
Confederate Cent Restrike of Defaced die
In 1961 Robert Bashlow, a New York entrepreneur, took the rusted and broken dies and had copies made in silver, goldine, and bronze. The dies were then donated to the Smithsoian Institute where they reside today.