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The privately issued coins of Dr. Lewis Feuchtwanger were struck in 1837 and 1864 from a composition that is known today as "German silver." Dr. Feuchtwanger issued both one-cent and three-cent denominations, and the coins circulated heavily during the "Hard Times" period of 1837-44 and continued in circulation through the Civil War. The 1864 Three-Cent piece was a rare, later issue, perhaps a renewed attempt to propose German Silver as an alternate alloy during a second period when small change became scarce.
German silver was Dr. Feuchtwanger's own amalgam of copper, nickel, zinc, tin and other trace metals. He proposed this synthesis of metals as a solution to the Mint's excessive cost of producing one-cent coinage. While the idea was never accepted, it was considered once again the early 1850s before being abandoned by Mint officials.
Although Feuchtwanger cents and three-cent pieces are not official Mint issues, they are considered part of the cent series by some collectors, as tokens by some other collectors, and even as Colonial pieces in some instances.
(by the late Bruce Amspacher, with updates by Ron Guth)