|Struck CT on left is sharper.|
The spacing and ornamentation are different.
The differences are immediately obvious. At first glance, you may find yourself squinting and rubbing your eyes, as the molded one appears blurry. Worn dies? Perhaps. But the fact is: molding produces a softer design. The lettering is more rounded at the edges, and the details are not nearly as sharp. Of course, the dies are different too (we will get to that shortly). But for now, notice how the relief of the letters are less consistent and the dotted border is less clear.
Note the thickness of the molded piece; it is meaty with more fat -- not lean and cut like the struck token. And the seam formed where the obverse and reverse dies meet is prominent. All this is not to regard the molded CT negatively -- it is what it is. There is a story here that deserves exploration.
We also can see that the dies are cut differently too. The struck piece is not only sharper, but it has different decorative elements. The lettering is spaced differently. Perhaps the most distinctive aspect is the detail of the communion cup -- the struck piece depicts an ornamented cup that sits atop a loaf of bread. The molded cup is smooth with a plain stem and thick base (it is also a bit distorted at the top on this particular specimen). The molded cup sits on a flat plane.
I wonder if these tokens were made for the same service? They are both undated, so it could be that these tokens were used over and over again. A new batch might have been produced to augment a dwindling supply, or they could have been ordered for a new communion event. Alternatively, the elders might have been dissatisfied with the first batch, so a second batch was made. I think the first two scenarios are more likely.
|This guidebook is useful if you seek|
CTs from PA. It is available from
booksellers like Rich Hartzog.
You might be surprised to know that the Western Pennsylvania Numismatic Society published a short book in 2004 written by Charles Culleiton entitled, Communion Tokens of Allegheny County. This 102-page book lists all the communion tokens from the region and provides church histories for each congregation that issued CTs (24 listed in all).
Allegheny county is located in the region south of Pittsburgh. It was settled in the mid to late 1700s by successive waves of Scottish and Scotch-Irish settlers who were at the forefront of the westward movement.