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Ashtonian last won the day on December 17 2020

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  1. In a previous post I mentioned that I was researching die numbers that appear on half sovereigns in the period 1863 to 1880 as part of larger study into half sovereigns. I mentioned that 10 die numbers had been recorded in respect of 1879 half sovereigns starting with Michael Mapleton, Malcom Marsh and myself. I will recap the numbers below: Michael Mapleton (in 1974 ) 57, 88, 89, 119, 180. Total 5 Michael Marsh 1st Edition 57, 88, 89, 95, 112, 119, 180. Total 6 Michael Marsh 2nd Edition 57, 58, 88, 89, 95, 112, 119, 161, 180. Total 9 After the appearance of die number 87 at Wawrick & Warwick recently I reached a total of 12, this amount seemed over the top for a extremely small mintage pf 35.201 in the year. Suspicious I consulted the Royal Mint Annual Report for the year which states that there were 14 dies split 8 Obverse dies and 6 Reverse dies. So for anybody remotely interested please find below die numbers that should form the 6 and where to find examples of them. Ashtonian 77, 87, 88, 89, 95, 112 Die Number 77 - DNW Auction Lot 891 Jun 2014 Die Number 87 - Warwick & Warwick 900 Lot 343 Dec 2020 Die Number 88 - Baldwins 43 Lot 106 Mar 2020 can also be seen on the PCGS population report Die number 89 - Baldwins 48 Lot 168 Sep 2020 Die number 95 - PCGS AU58 I will with hold the cert number. Am example also be seen on Worthpoint Die Number 112 - A 1879 half sovereign which is shown in the first edition of Marsh it looks as though the number is 112. If anybody has a 1879 with a die number that is not in the six above I would love to hear from you. Keep safe and keep on collecting
  2. A 1879 London Mint half sovereign in gEF would be up there with the best. The top grade at NGC is only MS61 and PCGS has an AU58 example which previously sold at St James auctions back in 2009 graded by St James almost extremely fine. The last one I seen offered was at Locke and England in July 2017 which was only in gF condition and this went for more than GBP200 . The Sydney mint coin is a lot more easy to obtain.
  3. Hi, Production at the Royal Mint increased sharply in the early 1870's for nearly every denomination produced. In my opinion an employee could be assigned a range of die numbers or die numbers taken from a particular range. Lets take the 1879 half sovereign as an example, we know that production of this rare half sovereign was completed on one day the 6th December 1879 amounting to mintage of approximately 35050 (my figures) with 10 different die numbers being recorded. Gold being a soft metal this would give an average production of 3505 per die which appears very low especially if compared to the previous year, where the mintage was 2,317,558 and 89 recorded die numbers so far, giving an average of 26,040 per die. if the dies were handed out to more than one operative this would make more sense. Die numbers recorded for 1879 are: 57 & 58 (57 also recorded in 1878 but not 58) 88 & 89 (not recorded in either 1878 or 1880) 95 (not recorded in either 1878 or 1880) 112, 116, 119 (119 also recorded in 1880) 161 & 180 (only recorded on the 1879 coin) How many different operators are involved in this production run could be 1 could be 10 but more likely 2 or 3 I think by 1873 the futility of using die numbers had become apparent to the Royal Mint and this is why the the new Sovereign and the re-introduced half crown did not have die numbers.
  4. Ashtonian

    1971 £.s.d. to Decimal converter.

    Hi Bagerap, Have a look at the Fitzqilliam Museum Collection http://data.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/id/object/159289 The HME was a company in Wakefield HME Minting Ltd. Nice find I do not know how rare it is.
  5. Hi, Hopefully some time in the future, At the moment I am researching all circulation Half Sovereigns issued by the London Mint from 1817 to 1915,
  6. Hi, I have been compiling a list of half sovereign die numbers for the past few years and to date I have confirmed 738 including the auction/dealer etc where they have appeared. My total includes 324 new die numbers that do not appear in Marsh. However there are 179 die numbers that appear in Marsh and 7 that appeared in Michael Mapleton's list that have yet to be confirmed. The die numbers where engraved in batches and it is my opinion the reason for die numbers where to record the operative who produced the coin or for some other recording purpose rather than being to measure die wear. Take for example the coarser border variant Spink reference 3860a Die numbers 1-8 where used in 1870 and die numbers 9-13 where used in 1871 however in 1871 dies 9 and 10 also exist with the normal border. If you would let me know the die numbers you have that do not appear in Marsh I will let you know if I already recorded them.