Dig it up! - http://treasuredigger.net
Super Admin
By Super Admin
Published on 04/25/2008

Fake or Fantasy Slave Tags, Slave Hire Badges,

Slavery Tokens, Etc.

If YOU are interested in collecting original SLAVERY tokens, Slave Tags, Slave Badges or Slave Hire Badges, Anti-Slavery Tokens or medals, etc., please let me know YOUR interests via e-mail at hartzog@exonumia.com. We stock a wide variety of genuine Slavery medallic items.

Our Mail Bid Sale #10 featured FIVE Charleston Slave Tags, plus other Slavery and Anti-Slavery tokens and medals.


Unfortunately, with the increase in popularity and price of genuine slave tags, the crooks and con-artists have moved in. In the past several years a number of counterfeit Slave Tags and fantasy tags have appeared, as well as a very few cast counterfeit "Am I Not a Woman and Sister" tokens. Some of these are obvious, others exceedingly deceptive. The general types are:

High Quality Counterfeit Charleston Slave Tags:

These are exact reproductions of genuine tags, made with bar-punches so the letters are raised. Most GENUINE Slave Tags have the city "Charleston", the occupation, such as "Servant" and the year, such as "1860" all struck on a tag from bar-punches, with raised letters. Additionally a serial number is incused punched. Some early genuine tags also have a silversmith bar-punch mark. Several years ago a crook had some bar-punch dies made up, to closely duplicate genuine tags. While there are many identifying characteristics of these fakes, the novice collector can easily be duped. Some of these modern fakes have been struck in lead, or on sheets of lead with multiple strikes. If you have purchased a slave tag from ANYONE without a guarantee of authenticity and a 100% money back guarantee, IN WRITING, you can probably kiss your money goodbye. Sorry to be so negative, and yes, it is possible to get genuine tags for nominal sums, but there are a lot of fakes out there. If you want a genuine Slave Tag, buy the book first! Only $25 (see below).

FAKE: 1841 Charleston Servant Slave Tag. A SRUCK tag, very deceptive, from modern dies. Very dangerous, looks great. Often offered on eBay by sellers with high feedback, with a warranty. TOTALLY FAKE, and the sellers are crooks! Just try to get your money back!

FAKE: 1856 Charleston Servant Slave Tag with Bill of Sale: A STRUCK tag, very deceptive, from modern dies. Looks great, on the correct size and shape metal planchet, green patina overall. Often sold with high quality total fantasy Bill of Sale, with serial number of Tag on the Bill of Sale! Paper is 7 1/8 x 9 1/8", "Slave - Charleston - Bill 18 (56)/ No (533) Value $ (800), with handwritten information as to supposed sale of negro, with large eagle lower left, printed info, etc., signed at bottom right twice. On artifically aged course paper, with 1856 wax seal, signed in aged brown ink, with embossed "Charleston" seal bottom left (see eagle image for partial "Charleston"). Some of these have fake damage to edges of the paper. A total fabrication, nicely aged and highly deceptive.

FAKE: 1862 Charleston Servant Slave Tag - A STRUCK tag, very deceptive, from modern dies. This specimen is on lead, which was never used for original Tags. Very dangerous! Another example, on copper, from a photograph.

Fake Porter badge.