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Posts posted by Peckris

  1. firstly, which would you have, i have got this from the royal mint site


    1988 --- 7,118,825

    2008 --- 3,910,000 (Royal Arms)

    so the 2008 has half the mintage of the 1988 (well more) yet i havn't seen a 1988 in a few years, i'm hording these based on those figures (strangly enough i have 4 of them and only have 2 of the other type...)

    so would keeping these £1's be more desirable in the future then the 88's as people do not know about the rarity yet? or will it be that 1988's will always be more desirable

    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!

  2. 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.

  3. 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?

    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.

  4. 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.

  5. Somewhat oddly, I found the 1921 very difficult to get in UNC condition from anywhere, dealers, e bay etc, despite the relatively high mintage.

    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!

  6. my dealer is a common undergrader. sometimes to the extreme

    my 1961 EF farthing i got for £1... O.o

    I had memerised the common aspects for george VI obverse, and got myself a VF 1946 3D for £4 (was about the same as the picture in the book)

    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!)

  7. 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.

  8. I will try to upload a picture of this (never done it before! fingers crossed ...) so you can see more clearly. The variety is on the left.

    The key differences are in the date : the first 8 appears to be overstruck on another 8 (much higher), while the 7 is twice as far from the second 8 as on the normal issue.

    Comments are invited - when I sent this to Spink, their comment was that there are numerous minor date varieties on all 19th Century coins, too many to be significant. My response to this would be that improvements in die-cutting from the mid 1880s onwards makes such varieties very much more significant. (Pennies from around 1882 or 1883, and silver from around the same dates, are very uniform).


  9. Moreover, a lot of 1920s are still pretty weak strikes. Good examples above EF aren't easy to find.


    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.

  10. 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. :D

  11. Primarily I keep my silver coins in the coin trays but would copper and bronze coins also be alright placed naked in the 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.

  12. 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.

  13. "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.