Three coins, a pocket knife and three wooden buttons were recovered from the pocket of one of two sailors whose remains were discovered inside the turret during archaeological excavations in 2002. The treatment of the coins was completed recently.
The first piece below is most likely a Braided Hair Large Cent. The top pictures correspond to the Monitor’s coin; the pictures directly below them were found online and used for comparison. On the observe side of the Monitor’s coin (left picture), one can slightly distinguish the outline of Liberty. On the reverse (right picture), the word ONE is readable (again, barely) in the top half section of the coin. This type of coin was minted between 1835 and 1857. They were the last version of the Large US Cents. They were 2.75cm diameter and a 100% copper. The diameter of the Monitor’s coin is 2.55cm. If this is a Braided Hair Cent, this loss in diameter can be related to corrosion phenomenon. The composition of this piece was analyzed by XRF a couple weeks ago (see Dave’s blog form August 25th) and was determined to be 100% copper!