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HK-12 Gilt


Here's a silver piece (HK-12A). Like the ones i've seen in photos, no "BARBER" at the base of the neck, so presume this was made a little later in the 1800s, but it's still real of course.

I don't believe over the years that NGC has any idea what is original release year and what is restrike. I don't intend to put this one in my collection. Appears regardless of text that there are no barber signatures on any of these.

Uploaded files:
  • HK-12A-MS62.jpg

I see an HK-12 gilt listed for sale on ebay. Ungraded. The base medal does not like bronze but more like white medal. That decent seem to match with the HK book. The face has a portion that looks white. Could this be the restrike version in yellow bronze, I don't know how that medal would appear if it had a rub.

This is the photo for the presumed HK-12b; seems in pretty good condition for a medal from 1869? I worry someone spent $921.89 on a modern restrike (supposed to be in yellow matte bronze like this one)? i'd definitely compare the purchase with a known modern restrke down to the last micrometer?. edited by rjesinger on 11/24/2013

Thought these photos might be useful? the item on the left is said to be an "HK-12" and on the right is a restrike. They sure look alike to me relative to a real dark bronze colored piece. I'd be very wary of buying any "yellowish" HK-12 that is said to be "real HK-12" and not a restrike... edited by rjesinger on 12/7/2013

Real HK-12 Bronze edited by rjesinger on 12/7/2013

Another real HK-12 Bronze; these were supposedly bronzed copper pieces, 45.4mm pieces. Dies were by William Barber. These pieces were struck between 1869 and 1904, with a total of less than 500 pieces. Per records, the first medals were struck in November of 1868 (32 in silver, 155 in bronze). Some medals apparently were struck with "BARBER" under the neck of the obverse bust, similar to the true bronze HK-137 pieces (per RW Julian's 1977 book Medals of the US Mint), but I haven't seen any? most of the real silver and bronze pieces in HK-12 I have seen photos of do not have an obverse similar to HK-137. Has anyone else ever seen an HK-12 type piece with "BARBER" under the neck on the obverse? edited by rjesinger on 12/7/2013

Hi Bill Calling them so called dollars has it's problems, but I guess they might be included for completeness sake if in fact they are associated with the fair. It would be nice to know for sure, but it looks as if your evidence might be pretty strong. The main problem that I have with them is that they really do not have quite the "feel" of a gold dollar. They DO have the feel of a gold charm, which is of course what they are. And they even say so. The original authors of HK probably would not have put them in, but how much does that matter? The original authors probably would not have put in a few of the unlisted so called dollars that I have listed on my website either. It is often tough to decide. Also, does including them as so called dollars open up a barn door for a number of other gold charms? Are there other gold charms with the 1894 date on them? Perhaps not. I'm not sure. The creation of future fantasy pieces is a little bothersome to me too. I guess for me the bottom line is that they are more "so called dollar related", than actual so called dollars, but thats just my opinion. JR

Here is the excerpt from the 1977 TAMS book on "Medals of the US Mint: 1792-1892" by R.W. Julian. The photo shows that the "BARBER" mentioned in the text isn't visible on the obverse (I think), so i'm not sure what to conclude?.

I spent an evening with Jeff recently, and we discussed the HK-12 piece. He told me that in his experience, there are roughly 3 versions of this SCD. He told me he has definitely seen the original medals with "Barber" at the bottom of the neck line of Grant. He said there are later 1800 pieces that were made that are pitted/rough. ?and there are some modern-type pieces, perhaps different from the modern restrikes. Various pieces also seem to have various thicknesses. Jeff pulled out his HK-12 pieces, and there certainly seemed to be variation in thickness, strike, metal, and color. I think that the dies were used over the years, so buying an HK-12 piece seems to be a tricky proposition overall. Bill H is right; this area definitely seems to be one where variation is more the norm than the exception.

Definitely a piece that you need to study carefully, preferably in a group with known originals and restrikes.