“Stone & Ball – More Than a Rock and a Round Thing”

What would a hoard of exonumia such as mine be without some counterstamped coins? This installment we’ll touch on one of my favorite collecting areas, counterstamped Liberty Seated dimes. I only collect them with full names, as they tell a better story than a coin with some randomly counterstamped numerals or letters ever could. I don’t collect them with holes either.

The first counterstamped dime I ever bought, an 1854 Arrows variety, is marked STONE & BALL vertically across the obverse of the host coin. From what I’ve seen and learned, Seymour H. Stone and Calvin S. Ball sold jewelry and silverware and were also in the business of repairing clocks in Syracuse, New York circa 1853 to 1869. These prolific counterstampers put their mark – using three differing punch styles at various times – on numerous U.S. coin denominations as well as foreign pieces; the Brunk reference on counterstamped coins even notes a Stone & Ball impression on a Connecticut copper! My little dime with the Stone & Ball counterstamp forms the nucleus of a collection that has been steadily growing in the past few years, and I’m having as much fun with it as I’ve had working on my date set of Liberty Seated dime love tokens without holes. It’s a fun and rewarding challenge, and isn’t that what coin collecting is all about?  

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