A Project of the Robert H. Gore, Jr. Numismatic Endowment
University of Notre Dame, Department of Special Collections
by Louis Jordan

Images Coordinated by
James C. Spilman and the Colonial Newsletter Foundation

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FAQ: The 1000 Unit Nova Constellatio "Mark"

A full history of the Nova Constellatio coins is available on our website.

Reading this should clarify the situation. On that page, following discussions of the Morris and Jefferson proposals, is a specific discussion of the Mark coin. Actually there is only one known original example of the Mark 1,000 unit coin. The original location and full history of the coin are discussed on the site. During the 1850's and 1860's several copies were made for collectors. This was a common practice and is still done (there are many struck copies, electrotypes and cast copies of famous colonial coins). These copies look just like the originals but are usually in different metals, even when the metals do not differ they have different weights and specific gravities than the originals. If you do a search of our colonial coin site (button at the bottom of each page) you will see we have some struck copies, some electrotypes and some cast copies of rarer coins along with our original items.

I receive about 15-20 letters on the 1,000 unit Mark each year. Copies of this coin are fairly common. They may have some small numismatic value but are rarely purchased by coin dealers. In fact, I have been looking for one to add to our web but have not found any good examples available from dealers. The one known original coin last sold in 1979 for $190,000. It is now in the John Ford collection.

If you suspect you have a second, hitherto unknown, original coin see our authentication FAQ.