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About mint_mark

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    Getting back into it!
  • Birthday 11/04/1966

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    Not far from Southampton, United Kingdom
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    Astro-photography, history... learning anything new!
  1. Hi everyone, I visited the Royal Mint experience yesterday... it was a long day trip for me (from near Southampton). It was a good tour and the exhibition was really interesting, although similar in parts to the sort of things you see in the British Museum. This was aimed more at the general public so everything was explained nice and clearly. It was more popular than I expected, with coach trips and families providing a varied audience. I hadn't expected the preparation stages of the blanks and dies to be so interesting... never really thought about how the lettering, milling and fusing of bimetallic coins was done. Not all at the same time! Also surprising that all the coin presses were German machines... You don't get to see the whole process in action, just the striking and counting/packaging area. Our guide explained that the mint is required to have tens of millions of pounds worth of coins in stock, but they don't get paid for them until they're issued. She said that the mint makes no profit from UK circulating coinage... all their income comes from foreign countries and collectables, which explains the panoply of commemoratives and precious metal releases. Some disappointments... I couldn't find much to buy in the gift shop, even though I wanted to. I thought there would be more coin themed items like lapel badges and keyrings, maybe with a tasteful Britannia or George and dragon design. Most of the gifts were related to the current commemorative themes... Beatrix Potter, world wars and royal anniversaries. And when you did buy something (a box of fudge in the end) there were no new pound coins for your change. Ironically, they were almost out of change :/ Still, I did strike my own pound coin... it's a 2017 BU coin which I think will be the same as the circulating one in due course, so maybe that could have been a little more special. It does look practically perfect under the magnifier though... and just £7.50. I'm glad I went... mostly because it's something you just couldn't do until recently. Not sure I'd go again... and I'm still pretty sure I'm not really interested in most of the things they sell. They did have some cardboard albums for people to collect coin designs from change... if this becomes popular they could offer coins to fill in gaps in those collections, although I hate to think what they would charge! Back to checking my change... Mark
  2. Top point, I was worried there for a second! Stamps have nothing of the heritage coins have! Phew! But on the plus side, you can collect an example of the first ever stamp... I think that's quite a nice statement for a collection to make.
  3. I have a lot of old CCGB... it's in the 2005 (and later) edition at £450, also in the 2001 edition at £450 (pre Perkins) but it's not in a 1987 edition. It's not in my old Krause catalogue, or in an old Spinks or in a coin yearbook. But it is in Coincraft where it says "Error coin with New Zealand reverse; weight 5.8 grams; possibly unique" and a value of £500. Hope that helps, Mark
  4. mint_mark

    New Coins

    Montis Insigmia Calpe is from Gibraltar...
  5. Incorrect alignment is usually a way to spot a fake pound coin. If you do find another one with the same design you could compare them and see if there are any other differences.
  6. Buy a set and break it up? Where's the challenge in that? In the introduction to the decimal section in Coin Yearbook (2005, it's OK Chris I've never bought it since ) they say that since 1984 the coins in BU sets were made by the proof coin division instead of the coin production room and that they are readily differentiated from normal circulating coins. Also, I wonder if those mintage figures from the mint include the coins in sets. Maybe that's where most of the Britannia 50ps are?
  7. I think you're right, the 50p is hard to find. That 700,000 figure comes from the royal mint site, but it might not be the final figure for the year... they get updated sometimes. If it is the final figure then it will be a very low mintage for a circulating coin.
  8. I wondered this at the time. In January they made a big fuss about the competition results and we'd all have to wait a couple of months to see the new designs... so I was quite surprised to see 2008 coins with the old designs turning up in change. I didn't think they would bother.
  9. I found one of the 1998s this evening. I have to say, it's remarkably good. It looks clear and crisp with smooth fields... not at all soft. The edge lettering is good too, just a little unevenness in the graining in places. I'll have to compare with a genuine coin from the same period to look for differences.
  10. mint_mark

    Commoners on Coins

    Technically speaking the persons you refer to above are allegory, and representative and not meant to portray a particular person. Since Lady Diana was on the crown in 1981, several commoners, notably Isambard Kingdom Brunel etc have appeared on commemoratives. The question is, was that Roger Bannister's actual leg? And don't forget that Una lady with her pet lion
  11. Hi 1949threepence, Have you ever noticed any difference in the graining (milling) around the edge? I've got a late George V shilling (1935 I think) which I noticed has finer graining than the other couple I have of the same type.
  12. Has anyone seen a 2008 britannia 50p in change? The mintage is even lower on the RM site.
  13. mint_mark

    The 1869 penny

    The first explanation I read was that the figures are the number of coins issued into circulation in a year. "That makes sense", I thought. They had loads left over from last year and didn't use them all up until Autumn, so there's not much time to make coins with this year's date. The same thing seems to happen with modern coinage today... sometimes you don't see new coins until Christmas. But now it seems that they carried on making coins with last year's date. Are they doing this to eke out the last useful life from last year's dies before making new ones? Are the mint allowed to do what they like with regard to dating coins? For example, all the 1967 pennies and 1925 sovereigns... do they need special permission to mint coins with anything other than the date at the time of minting?
  14. That's it, just behind his neck. J means Hamburg. For 1938 2 Mark they all seem equally common. For the Weimar coin it's above the wheat sheafs and for the 10pf it should be between the oak leaves below the value.
  15. With German coins you should check the mint mark as well as the date. It's a small letter on the coin (in a different place for each design) that indicates which mint struck the coin. For many designs certain date and mint combinations are scarcer than others. The most common mint mark is usually A (for Berlin).