This is my second Civil War era token for this year. The "Union" and shield definitely date it to the Civil War era. I am really intrigued by the details in the shield, which is seems to have been hand engraved on the die (opposed to stamped, as the other elements of the design) - the upper points are not symmetrical. This token is additionally interesting because of the small circular clip in the side of the planchet.
The other side says: "W. Johnston * Die Sinker - Cin, O." Other tokens are cataloged with this die/maker, but not in combination with the "Union" side. The ones I have seen have a Masonic symbol. I have written to Russell Rulau, author of The Standard Catalog of United States Tokens 1700-1900 to see if he can shed any light on this variety.
My searches in the 1860, 1870 and 1880 Census records have not turned up our die maker Johnston. Maybe his name can be found in some Cincinnati City Directories of the era. Another token is seen with an Indian head design dated 1863. The advertising side is a different design and gives an address of 154 Everett St.
Update: William and John S. Johnston are listed in the 1862 Cincinnati City Directory as die sinkers at 429 Central Avenue. They also live at that address. William Johnson is listed in the 1863 Directory at 154 Everett Street as a machinist.
At an older park this morning that typically yields little but trash, I found a dateless shield nickel (1866-1881) at a shallow 2.5 inches and some modern clad coins. Took a break for lunch and decided to head back over for a bit thinking maybe I could get some wheats and possibly even an Indian head cent. First target was the wheat... a 1910, nice. Second was an 1897 Indian head. Goals achieved. Next pass I get a blip at the end of the sweep, decide to check it out. 12-43, 12-44 on the E-Trac meter, a little depth, I'm hoping for a wheat cent.
So, I pull out this coin from about 5-6" deep, it's silver, yay! Ok, what the heck is it... I see what looks like a 106? It's bigger than a dime, thicker too with nice strong reeding on the edge... maybe one of those Philippines 10 centavos? No, wait, maybe it's a Barber dime? No, too big. Philippines... no, keep looking at it... Holy freaking crap, it's a BUST DIME in AWESOME condition!
I walk back to the car, gingerly place it on a soft towel I had in the trunk, try to calm my nerves and head back to detecting. Tried to stay focused, but did not find much else, a few modern coins. So, I come home, praying the whole way that I didn't hit this coin with the digger. I gently rinse it under the faucet and pat it dry. Turns out to be my oldest and best coin after 19 years detecting, an 1833 bust dime in awesome condition.
On a side note, there are at least 10 different dies/types for 1833 dimes. The book that identifies these types is Early United States Dimes 1796-1837, by the John Reich Collectors Society and these types are generally referred to by their "JR" number. A member of the John Reich Collectors Society was kind enough to look at my photos and identified this dime as JR-9 which has a rarity level of 2, so while not a rare type, it's still great to have this information.
I'm Nick A. and I am a metal detector hobbyist in Central Ohio. I have been metal detecting since 1990, and currently use the Minelab E-Trac detector.