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VickySilver

Uncirculated Malta Coins of the Franklin Mint!

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As an admitted addict to the Franklin Mint coins of the 70s and [moreso] the 80s, I have noted that these are very difficult to obtain on occasion.

 

The 1976 coins were mainly released to collectors in proof format, but a scant few were sent to the Central Bank in Valetta. Original mintage of the matte UNCIRCULATED 50c was 150 specimens, and the matte UNCIRCULATED 25c was all of 300. These evidently were bagged up and distributed with coins of like design struck by the Royal Mint (of both previous and later years), and at least with the one each I have gotten were not saved in any special way.

I believe that the smaller issues were struck to like numbers but have not seen them - one mil is a very small coin, even for Malta.

 

Then there are the specimen sets that were struck between 1977 and 1982, with mintages in the 252-850 range in the case of the latter. Interestingly, it seems to be rather scarcer than the earlier sets even though the mintage is higher... There are no silver coins in this set, only aluminum, bronze and copper nickel, so maybe like the currency bits that the FM struck for other countries, they may have just languished in vaults, and destroyed or maybe still in those vaults. As it has been well over 30 years since they were issued, it is difficult to tell - only that these are scarce bits...

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I feel your pain - among other things I collect coins of the Cook Islands and Solomon Islands and almost all of my gaps are coins made for sets by the Franklin Mint, often with mintages of less than 1,000.

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What would be your commentary on the scarcer bits of those islands? I have a few & the Solomon FM mint sets 1977-83....

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The 1982 and 1983 are very rare (200 or fewer sets of each type produced in those years?); the others are obtainable though in increasing rarity I think.

An ebay seller told me that when the price of silver got high, unsold (I think) sets (probably all Franklin Mint sets) were broken down and the silver coins sold off, which probably explains the glut of Coins of All Nations sets with mixed years you see on ebay.

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Posted (edited)

Hi T,

Well, thanks for that which as far as Solomon Islands go, jibes with what I have seen.

The FM "Coins of all Nations" are indeed uncirculated pieces put together by the Franklin Mint, some after their demise as a minting facility but have not been reassembled by anyone else (these include both FM and other sourced coins). Interestingly, they can be a source of scarcer bits. One example are the sets that include Jamaica 1984 issues - these include the 1984 FM proof like uncirculated 20c, 25c, and 50c bits that otherwise would be unknown.

What I have been unable to sort out is just what they (the FM) did with uncirculated strike issues, both with the 1975-77 matte type uncirculated, and the 1978-84 PL uncirculated strikes. I believe, but can not prove that they sent off a small mintage besides those in the 78-84 specimen sets and sent these to the central banks; what then became of them I do not believe anybody else has sorted out.

Thus I was able to get a Trinidad & Tobago 1984FM Proof like (U) 50c that had obvious bag marks and had not been part of a specimen set - indeed none are known from this year from T&T. Also, the 1984FM Barbados 25c, $1, $5 and $10 PL (U) coins.

The T&T I got for a princely sum including shipping of $3.59 USD! That for an otherwise upublished coin....

Another intriguing bit:  from a Brit eBay seller three-four years ago I got Jamaica matte unc. 1975 and 1977FM $10 coins at a total of 23 USD and these for coins of mintages in the 27-28 range - I have never seen these before or since....

 

Anyway, I have written this down for you and all who care to read about it and willl respond on these boards or to PMs....

 

PS - I have been trying to get a 1995 Papua New Guinea Proof 100k coin - have you seen such or have a line on such a coin?

Edited by VickySilver

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I am also a little suspicious about whether any of the Franklin Mint coins ended up in circulation. A number of years ago I purchased some bulk lots of Cook Islands coins (not sure where the seller got them but they were in big enough quantities, and they had lots of other bulk foreign stuff, that I assumed they were rejects from a bank or a rolling company or some charity). There were lots of standard coins but also a handful of 1977-1981 Franklin Mint coins in there as well.

It's a shame no one has put together a good reference book on the matter.

I haven't seen a 1995 proof 100 kina either, though I don't collect much Papua New Guinean stuff (just the occasional coin that appears in change).

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Interesting point there, were any of the PNG FM coins circulated at all? The 1995 PNG 100K was actually struck by the FM even after it's "demise" in 1985. Not sure how that happened - these are quite rare....

Interestingly, at Downies some years ago I purchased the holdings of a former PNG Central Bank ?Director? that included ALL of the matte uncirculated 1975-1977 1t - 10K coins with multiples of the smaller denominations; many of these I had slabbed and were of MS66-67 calibre.

As far as circulation, I got about 6 months ago a Trinidad and Tobago 1984FM 50c in Unc. but that had obviously been at least in a bag if not lightly circulated - it had certainly not originated in a mint specimen set (which are unknown in any case). Also, many of the Belize issues 1c-50c from the FM show some signs of circulation, a lot in the case of the 1c pieces.

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I don't collect Papua New Guinean stuff myself so haven't come acquired any of its Franklin Mint struck coins, but it wouldn't surprise me.

Further on the Cook Islands coins though, the 1977 10t and 50t pieces seem quite plentiful on ebay. Also, I'm told that at least towards the end, the Franklin Mint stuff was made to order i.e. you'd register your interest then when the interest period had closed sets were produced. No idea what sort of contract they had with the governments but it could well have been that the governments ended up with the surplus/cancelled/unpaid for coins, and with nothing better to do with them they just circulated them.

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