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Specially Marked Liberty Dollars


All pieces cataloged below were marked by Liberty Dollar creator Bernard von NotHaus.  Pieces marked by other individuals may exist, but they would be of dubious value (prior to the introduction of regionally hallmarked 2008 issue).  I am cataloging these pieces chronologically to the best of my ability.  This page will have to be a collaborative effort on the part of all Liberty Dollar supporters and collectors because I have no idea what Bernard may have marked that I know nothing about.  If you have something that is not listed here, please send me a photo with details of when and how it was marked and I will credit you with the info.

I am going to introduce an addition to my numbering system here.  The primary type number of this first specially marked piece is #6, and there is only one special hallmark for this type, so it will be #6 HM for hallmark.  For types that have serial numbers, they will be labeled #(type) SN.  We would have both for all the State SMI.  Varieties of SMI that carry the hand stamped, triangular mintmark, MM would be added.  For example, the MICHIGAN SMI exists as #17 SN, #17 HM, #17 SNMM and #17 HMMM and just plain #17.

Specially marked Liberty Dollars originated with an event held on the east coast of the USA.  I was told of it by Bernard von NotHaus.  I cannot remember the event nor the state it was held in, but he told me that he used a specially shaped nail to mark one ounce Liberties (variety #6 dated 2000) for people who purchased them at the show.  There were only about 25 pieces done.  The hallmark is described as a 'squiggly', T shaped mark.   The picture below is an un-hallmarked piece.  If you have or know someone who has one of these year 2000 pieces with a hallmark done by Bernard, please get a photo for me and I will post it here with credits to you.

#6 HM


The second specially marked piece was one ounce variety #12 dated 2005.  The first RCO congress was held at Liberty Dollar University (LDU) 4 during the grand opening of the Evansville, Indiana National Fullfillment Office in October of 2004 and Bernard presented each of the ten attending RCOs with a piece hand stamped with a number from 1 to 10 and hallmarked with a nail with the end modified into a cross shape.  I have the #10 piece.  Both marks were placed just left of the base of the torch.

#12 SN


The third specially marked piece was also one ounce variety #12 dated 2005.  This piece was produced as a fundraiser to help meet office expenses and was offered to RCOs in quantities at a premium above normal costs.  Acquisisitoin of these pieces by RCOs served a dual purpose.  One was to contribute to organizational finances.  The other was to acquire a limited edition offering that might have enhanced value as a numismatic piece in the future.  The same hallmark was used on this pieces as on the preceeding one, but it was placed to the right of the base of the torch.  There were probably less than a hundred of these done.

#12 HM 

To the best of my knowledge, the next hallmark that was done was the one used on the reverse of type #13, the original Puerto Rico piece done custom for Puerto Rico RCO Alfredo Pacheco.  There were serial numbered pieces made as well as hallmarked (and those would be #13 SN).  You can see the hallmark in the photo to the left of the bottom of the torch as well as the serial number, making this a #13 SNHM.  Most of the 1000 pieces minted did not bear any serial number or hallmark at all.  It was at this point that serial numbering and hallmarking the first few pieces of each new design seemed to become almost standard practice.  I am not aware of any hallmarks on types #14 and #15, but it wouldn't surprise me if there are some.  I am almost certain that there are serial numbered and hallmarked varieties of #16, which is the second Puerto Rico piece, done shortly after the move-up to the $20 silver base.

#13 SNHM


Then came the SMI series.  We know for certain that there exist serial numbered and hallmarked versions of all 25 state and the Marco Island pieces.  There are varieties of some of these with Bernard's special mintmark (the triangle with the inscribed circle inside which is a capital letter B) also hand stamped on them, and some without it.  Pictured here is a hallmarked #17 (Michigan SMI) with Bernard's mintmark.  RCO Jeff Kotchounian of Michigan had all of his numbered and hallmarked pieces stamped with the mintmark, but none of the other Michigan RCOs did.  I don't believe there are any GI (general issue) Michigan pieces that bear the special mintmark.  There are of the #22, the NEW HAMPSHIRE SMI, as shown.  I believe all of the FLORIDA & NORTH CAROLINA SMI serial numbered and hallmarked pieces also carry the mintmark.  I'm not sure how many other state SMI pieces have mintmarks.

#17 HMMM  




#22 MM


  Coming soon......Florida Bash & WISCONSIN hallmark, Scales of Justice, Bill of Rights, Arrest, Trial, Peace and USA , libertyfest (on NH SMI - only 10 made) hallmarks!!! (2007/2006 w/ arrest HM high price $320)

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A Really Special Liberty Dollar

The two-part Quarter (highest known sale price $810 by Jerry Caruso 3/24/2015, ANACS slabbed & graded OBV-MS64, REV-MS63 - $1295 by ebay seller keepstackn 10/4/2015)

This piece, or more properly, set of pieces is something really different.  Bernard wanted to do something special as a token of appreciation for all the hard work of the RCOs at LDU 11 in Skokie, IL in late September of 2006 and the 1/4 ounce Silver Liberty had just been introduced a few months before.  A few Michigan RCOs got a preview of this piece at a get together in Lapeer, Michigan in July that Bernard attended where he gave each RCO a set.  Again in September at the RCO congress (where I was voted out of the three man RCO governing board in Sept. 2006, contrary to the FBI affidavit filed a year later in Nov. 2007) each attending RCO was given a set.  What Bernard did was to take TWO of the 1/4 oz planchets (blanks) and have them both placed in the press at the same time and stamped together using the dies of the standard 1/4 oz obverse and reverse.  When the concave and convex surfaces of the two pieces are carefully aligned with slight pressure, they will lock together quite strongly because of the rough surface, kind of like micro-velcro.  They will roll across a table top stuck together with no problem.  You have to drop them on a hard table top from 3 or 4 inches to get them to fall apart.  If you look carefully at the first photo below, you can see the concave and convex Liberty Head impressions (the gold look on the left piece is just lighting).  The other photo shows the joined halves locked together and standing on edge.  I don't know how many sets were made, but I do know that they were never sold to the public.  There can't be very many of them.

10/5/2015 Addendum;

The ebay ad by keepstackn billed this item as "The rarest NORFED in the world".  That may or may not be a true statement.  I personally saw approximately two dozen sets given away in Skokie, IL and Lapeer, MI.  It's a safe bet that more were given away to personal friends of BVNH.  I would guess at least 50 sets were produced and possibly even 100.  With the Evansville piece catapulted into rarity by the FBI seizure and no possibility of any being returned to the public because of their contraband status, I suspect that it is even rarer than the split quarter.  See the description of it under #55 on the $20 base page.

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