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Everything posted by Peckris

  1. Talking about grey matter, the more you think about this, the more complex an issue it becomes : Cromwell is the ONLY commoner to feature on the obverse of a British coin. Churchill may be the only commoner to feature as a named reverse type. But then, what about those who modelled for certain designs? The young woman who posed for the Edward VII florin reverse ( the standing Britannia), the man who posed for Pistrucci's St George, the copper reverse Britannias of the 17th and 18th centuries - these are all commoners who appeared on coins (though un-named).
  2. You could be proved right - in the long term. As a study it would be interesting to compare the 2008 £1 and the 1965S shilling (mintage 2,000,000+). 1965S shilling : current value £1, current availability - plentiful, future prospects - not good as so many BU were put aside in the coin collecting fever of the late 60s 2008 £1 : current availability - plentiful, future prospects uncertain - not many people will bother to collect the circulation issue BUT don't forget there will be commemorative versions and proofs in RM folders which will probably satisfy demand for years to come. One further warning - an interim mintage figure for 1976 50 pences was issued in 1978 which showed a mintage of well under 1,000,000. Many people started to collect them. Final mintage figure? 43,000,000! Bear in mind that your 2008 figure MAY not be final. But good luck with it, anyway.
  3. A very interesting mark. Pity the wear means you can't see clearly what it originally was. Have you also noticed there is an extra hair curl? (To the left of the T in GRATIA). It is not present on the old bust photo in my copy of Spink, though that is of the GEORGIUS version not your GEORGIVS.
  4. Peckris

    TheLaw of Unintended Consequences

    Yes - this is why I stressed both research and experimentation on low value items.
  5. My own 5 cents' worth is this : hoarding coins (especially moderns) based on mintage figures is not recommended. There are so many examples where this has proved futile... 1965S shillings 1981 10 pence 1970 50 pence 1985 50 pence 1978 proof sets 1979 proof sets 1984 1/2 pence virtually any 'sets only' item (with the exception of 1970 and 1972) and those are just the obvious examples Apart from the 1970 50p, every item I've listed is rarer than both the items you mention, yet I cannot dispose of my stock of them unless I price WAY under book price. Bear in mind that coins acquire value based not only on 'rarity' (and nearly 4 million can not be considered in any way rare) but also on popularity and availability. The market for modern (decimal era) coins is separate from the pre-decimal one, and the proof of this is in the vast quantity of commemorative issues. These sell well and provide a good income for the Royal Mint. But if you examine the 'secondary market' (where these commemoratives are sold on), you see a very different story - the market is glutted with proof sets and £5 coins in folders, even piedforts (which are genuinely scarce if you look only at mintage figures). Dealers will pay very little for them as they can only sell them on if they price cheap. You're making the same mistake as I made when I was just a collector : you're looking at RELATIVE rarity. You're thinking that if a coin's mintage is only 1/10 of a typical year, then "it must be worth more". But if that figure is still in the millions, then it really isn't rare, and there will always be many more coins than collectors. The bottom line is supply and demand. If you want to speculate, and you can afford to, by all means put aside a stock of the coins you mention - you at least have one advantage in that the face value will never drop below £1. But don't put off that pension plan, because those £1 coins aren't it!
  6. Me too! Lovely items to hold a collection. I bought one from new after mentally havering a little about the price at the time but I've had no regrets. Then I got another one from an auction.
  7. Peckris

    Cleaning Coins

    There's been a subtle change I've noticed in recent years, in relation to cleaning. I was at an auction where there was a group of high grade George V last issue silver 3d. Yet many of them had been obviously cleaned to look even brighter than they actually were. I was reluctant to bid until I spoke with a fellow dealer who said "Sure, they've been cleaned. But there are lots of collectors around these days who just don't care." I was sceptical until I remembered that I had picked up a huge auction lot previously, where most of the coins had been cleaned including a large number of George V shillings in EF or better - 1912, 1917, 1919, among them. I always advertised them as 'cleaned', and adjusted the price accordingly. I had no shortage of buyers. It does seem as if (maybe younger?) collectors are becoming more relaxed about cleaned coins - this is probably stimulated by a shortage of high grade pre-1937 coins in relation to demand.
  8. Peckris

    The 1869 penny

    For the 1967 dated coins, I'm not sure if it required an Act of Parliament, but it was certainly the result of an announcement by the Chancellor in the House of Commons. One interesting thing : if you have a copy of Rotographic's first ever coin booklet - "Check Your Change" 1968 - you will notice that coin values, especially for George VI and Elizabeth I, are almost exclusively based on mintage figures. It makes fascinating reading, especially in the light of what is known now.
  9. From the date, it looks like a typical late 18th Century copper halfpenny token. These were issued by many companies and organisations, and there are some that feature the Prince of Wales, the future George IV. The interesting thing about this piece is that George did not become Prince Regent until 1811. However, there was a "Regency Crisis" in 1788 but George III recovered before the Regency could be enacted. So it rather looks as though this token (or commemorative piece?) was struck in preparation for an event that didn't materialise. The need for all this (as you probably know already) is that there was a massive shortage of copper coins from the mid-18th Century until Matthew Boulton created the machinery to strike the "cartwheels" of 1797. Tokens plugged this gap.
  10. It's probably the token the Queen has to insert each time she uses the Royal Carriage, to make it go. Seriously, can you provide a photo?
  11. That's true - it's a difficult date in both shillings and halfcrowns, in high grade. However, the 1921 shilling with the 1911-1920 obverse is very rare indeed, especially in top grades. Good luck with tracking that one down!
  12. How much do you want for your 1961 farthing? I will buy it from you... (Red - that order will be in as soon as I check my PayPal account, when this heatwave is over!)
  13. Cromwell indeed is the other one. And yes, he was a commoner by every definition, as he was not in line to the throne even remotely, and I believe came from 'gentleman farmer' stock? However, you could argue that the 'rebel Roman leader' who proclaimed himself Emperor while in Britain could also be considered a commoner, and I'm not sure Harold Godwin's claim was any too secure either... I suppose it depends on just how far back you're prepared to go. Certainly, Churchill is the first in modern times.
  14. Not weak strikes - there are two obverses used in 1920 : the first is the one used between 1911 and 1919 with a deeply cut, slightly smaller portrait, the second a shallower one with only lightly defined hair detail that was used between 1920 and 1926 on shillings, florins and halfcrowns. This second one was introduced only months after the alloy change, in an attempt to reduce the notorious "ghosting" problem (a similar obverse change was also applied on the pennies between 1921 and 1926). It is slightly confusing because two things occurred almost simultaneously : 1. a high rise in the price of silver that necessitated the change to a 50% silver alloy and 2. the last attempt by The Royal Mint to eliminate the 'ghosting' problem that was only finally resolved by the introduction of the modified portrait in 1926. The two obverses occur on the 1920 coins about equally. Coins of the first obverse type are very much easier to find in high grade (as are the pre-1920 .925 silver coins). The second obverse - the shallow one - provides major problems as they began to wear very quickly indeed, and as a result it is normal to find coins of this series a whole grade or more lower on the obverse, than the reverse.
  15. Brilliant idea, a book like this, and will be a useful guide for beginners and not so beginners alike, for years to come (especially when you realise how unrealistic gradings have become, e.g. on a certain online auction site...). I would like, if I may, to add a few riders : 1. Grading is an art, and this book - while it will provide a great service to collectors - can never replace the experience gained over time of looking at coins and handling them; this book will be the 'chemistry teacher' while real coins are the 'laboratory'. 2. Grading is usually decided on wear. There are many other factors that come into play also : dirt, scratches, weak strikings, early 'prooflike' strikings, quality of tone and patina, etc. Be aware that some dealers grade on wear alone but will supplement that with further description; others will grade on ALL the factors involved. For example, one dealer may describe a coin as "VF but light scratch on portrait", another dealer may simply grade the same coin as "F". 3. Appearance counts more than grade. I would rather have a coin in "superb VF" with a very pleasing look, than an "EF" example with uneven lustre and light scuffing in the fields. Having said all that, I intend to buy a copy of this book for myself.
  16. Peckris

    Coin Trays

    Copper and bronze needs more careful storage than silver, and protection from the elements. I use coin cabinets originally got from the leading supplier (can't remember the name - based in St Leonards On Sea?) - these use red felt for the coins and they have served me well. However, I don't know if this was a special fabric or just any old red felt. Most coin trays you see have this same red fabric in them, and it is neutral and non-reactive.
  17. What you do about this depends entirely on how much energy, interest and time you have. As a former small-time dealer who spent hours and hours going through auction lots, I have to tell you that what this collections SOUNDS like (purely on your description of it) is the kind of typical accumulation we would all curse having to sort through 'just in case'... and there never was, of course. If you want to save yourself a lot of time etc, you could do worse than place it in the hands of a REPUTABLE dealer or auction house, and the place to find one is in the pages of Coin News, a monthly magazine on sale in WH Smith. This is not to say that the accumulation is worthless of course - if any of those 3d bits are in high grade they are worth a bob or two, and there are a few rare dates too. It's just that serious collectors collect, they don't accumulate in bags and boxes, so I would not guess (and it's only a guess of course) that yours is worth a great deal. So, don't get your hopes up, buy a copy of Coin News, and take it from there.
  18. Peckris

    TheLaw of Unintended Consequences

    "Many people put dessicants in with their coins and this will draw some of the moisture away from the microclimate about the enclosed coins" Silica Gel is the normal thing used for this - a good reputable chemist should be able to either supply you with some, or at least let you know where you can get some. The other thing to research is the effect of using a light non-reactive oil on a lustre coin, applying it very very lightly with a micro-cloth of the sort supplied by opticians for cleaning glasses. There is nothing better than oil for keeping out pollutants but it should be very carefully researched first, and practised on a few modern BU bronze pennies of no value.