L.J.M. writes: I have two “Franco Americana Colonial” coins dated 1796. One is thick and one is thin otherwise they appear to be identical and in pretty good condition…what is their value and how do I go about authenticating them? Thank you very much for your time and attention.
The Castorland Medals were presentation pieces given to the directors of the company that was going to set up a French Settlement in Carthage, New York. It was the year of the French Revolution and the company’s founders thought this would be a popular location for Frenchman fleeing the upheaval and destruction in France.
It didn’t work out and the settlement was never established. The medal is considered part of the collection of Colonial and post Colonial emergency and state coins. There are many copies and “restrikes” of the Castorland Medal, many produced by the Paris Mint. Original silver examples are rare and can bring as much as $6000 or more, bronze examples can be worth $150 or so. The modern Paris restrikes (says Paris Mint on the edge) come in silver and bronze. Value: $5-$25 each.