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SERIES: U.S. Colonial Issues
LEVEL: Year, MintMark, & Major Variety

1694 1/2 P Carolina PROPRIETORS O/E, BN (Regular Strike)

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PCGS XF45BN

PCGS VF35BN

PCGS VF30BN
PCGS #:
73
Diameter:
Designer:
Weight:
Edge:
Mintage:
Metal Content:
Copper
Auction Record:
$47,000 • NGC XF45 • 5-16-2014 • Heritage
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Condition Census (Explain) Show more rows
Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 MS62BN PCGS grade  
2 AU53 PCGS grade  
3 XF45 PCGS grade  
4 VF30 PCGS grade

Stack’s 9/2009:4005, $28,750

4 VF30 PCGS grade  
Condition Census (Explain) Show fewer rows
Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 MS62BN PCGS grade  
2 AU53 PCGS grade  
3 XF45 PCGS grade  
4 VF30 PCGS grade

Stack’s 9/2009:4005, $28,750

4 VF30 PCGS grade  
6 VF25 PCGS grade
6 VF25 PCGS grade  
8 VF20 PCGS grade

Stack’s “Gilbert Steinberg” 10/1989:49 - John “Jack” Royse Collection - Stack’s/Bowers 11/2012:6016, $23,000

8 VF20 PCGS grade  

Heritage 10/2010:3022, $17,825

8 VF20 PCGS grade  

Ron Guth: The 1694 Elephant Tokens are among the most popular U.S. Colonial coins because of their theme and rarity.  No other American coins feature an elephant, so collectors of colonial coins are naturally inclined toward them.  Based on the size of the ear, the elephant appears to be of the African variety.  Unfortunately, no records exist to explain why the elephant was used on a coin tied to the American colonies.

The 1694 Elephant Tokens come in two versions: one with PROPRIETERS on the reverse (a mis-spelling) and another with the word corrected to PROPRIETORS by punching an O over the E (the undertype is always visible).

The PROPRIETORS O/E variety is very rare.  The cataloger of the Ford Collection thought he had seen fewer than a dozen examples, but we have images of seventeen different examples (as of April 2017) and there are doubtless a few more "out there."  Most are either low grade or have endured indignities such as pitting, cleaning, or planchet flaws.  We know of two Mint State examples, including a PCGS MS62BN and an even better example from the Garrett Collection (reportedly now in the Donald Partrick Collection).