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One of Only Two Known Surviving 1945 Silver Threepence Coins Surfaces

Posted on 12/10/2019

The silver coin, the “rarest British circulating coin in 200 years,” was one of 371,000 minted that year, all of which were supposed to have been destroyed.

The “rarest British circulating coin in 200 years” has been certified as genuine by Numismatic Guaranty Corporation® (NGC®), the world’s largest third-party certification, grading and encapsulation service for rare and collectible coins.

The tiny silver coin — only the second known example — was not discovered in a buried hoard. The 1945 Silver Threepence was found in an ordinary Whitman folder, the type of cardboard booklet that young coin enthusiasts have filled with coin collections since the 1930s.

1945_GBritain_3P_Silver_MS63_4863637-001_TB_20191210103706360.jpg 1945_GBritain_3P_Silver_MS63_4863637-001_REV_TB_20191210103814427.jpg
This 1945 Great Britain Silver King George VI 3 Pence was authenticated and graded NGC MS 63 by the 
third-party grading service Numismatic Guaranty Corporation. It is scheduled to be auctioned in March 2020 with
an estimate of £15,000 to £25,000 (about $20,000 to $30,000 USD).
Click images to enlarge.

 

The coin had been removed from the Whitman folder and placed in a similarly humble plastic envelope, or flip, when it was brought to Baldwin’s of St. James’s, managing director Stephen Fenton said.

But it caused an immediate sensation even so.

“It was a coin I’d looked for for 50 years,” Fenton said. “I regard this as the rarest British circulating coin for 200 years.

“You see lots of rare coins, but this is something I’ve always hoped to see someday. It’s amazing proof that the rarest coins can emerge from the most humble of places.”

Though the Nazis showered London with V-2 rockets in 1945, it was a more mundane reason that led to the 1945 Silver Threepence coin becoming almost extinct. The Silver Threepence had become unpopular because it was very small — a diameter of 16 mm (six-tenths of an inch) and a weight of 1.4 grams (five-hundredths of an ounce). A bigger, heavier, 12-sided nickel-brass threepence had been introduced in 1937 and was being minted every year.

The King George VI Silver Threepence was minted from 1937 to 1945, with a peak production of almost 8 million annually in 1940 and in 1941. But the wartime issues of 1942-45 all were shipped to the British West Indies. And the output of the coin’s final year of 371,000 — apparently deemed redundant because of public acceptance of the 12-sided nickel-brass coin — was ordered to be melted down, its silver used in other mint products.

Every 1945 Silver Threepence was supposed to have been reduced to ingots, their inscriptions and profile of the king on the obverse and a St. George’s cross over a Tudor rose on the reverse, destroyed.

But at least two coins escaped the crucible, and more of them might be sitting in jars or Whitman folders, waiting to be recognized for the rarities they are.

One survivor came up for auction in April 1970 at a Glendining & Co. of London sale. Its condition was described in the catalog as About Very Fine and it realized £260 (about £4,000 pounds in today’s money). Its buyer is unknown, and the coin has not resurfaced publicly since.

The newly found coin was certified by NGC and graded MS 63 on the 70-point Sheldon Scale. The condition of the coin found earlier is thought to grade a much lower 20 to 35 on the scale.

“I had no doubt that this coin was genuine,” Fenton said. “But NGC certification will ensure that everyone has the same confidence.”

The new example is being offered at a Baldwin’s of St. James’s auction scheduled for March 2020, with an estimate of £15,000 to £25,000 ($20,000 to $30,000 USD), Fenton said.

How did it survive?

The owners, who Fenton declined to name, said they received the Whitman folder containing the coin from a relative who worked at the Royal Mint.

For more information about Baldwin’s of St. James’s, go to bsjauctions.com/

 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Viewing at %
Edited by VickySilver
too much pasted
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Oooops, sorry for the ugly paste there...

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Wow. I'd never seen even an image of one.

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17 hours ago, Peckris 2 said:

Wow. I'd never seen even an image of one.

Nor me - even the image is a collector's piece.

It'll be interesting to see what it fetches at auction.

 

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Got a link to the original story?

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Quote

The owners, who Fenton declined to name, said they received the Whitman folder containing the coin from a relative who worked at the Royal Mint.

Ah, that might explain a lot.

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What about the 1954 penny or 19542halfcrown are they not rare ?

Very interesting artical though

Edited by copper123

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13 hours ago, 1949threepence said:

Ah, that might explain a lot.

It does seem likely that a mint employee has kept a coin back. But at least he didn't do it for quick money as it is resurfacing for the first time 74 years after it was minted.

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22 minutes ago, Sword said:

It does seem likely that a mint employee has kept a coin back. But at least he didn't do it for quick money as it is resurfacing for the first time 74 years after it was minted.

Indeed. Although of course, we don't know exactly what happened on the day. It could have fallen on the floor and he picked it up and put it in his pocket intending to throw it in with the melt, forgot about it. Then decided to keep it for posterity. Maybe later gave it to a young relative as an example of a silver threepence. Of course, in 1945, he'd have had no idea of its future worth.     

Quote

One survivor came up for auction in April 1970 at a Glendining & Co. of London sale. Its condition was described in the catalog as About Very Fine and it realized £260 (about £4,000 pounds in today’s money). Its buyer is unknown, and the coin has not resurfaced publicly since.

I bet it will fetch many orders of magnitude more than £4k this time. 

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Guesses? An unloved series but unimpeachable (like that one?) rarity. I would have to think that 50k would not be out of the question. Right up my wheelhouse as far as the coin, not the price!

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If it were an american coin of similar rarity it would be worth 2 million dollars

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9 minutes ago, copper123 said:

If it were an american coin of similar rarity it would be worth 2 million dollars

200 million more Americans than Brits and of those which are serious collectors, most will be millionaires, so they have the cash to splash 

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1 hour ago, azda said:

200 million more Americans than Brits and of those which are serious collectors, most will be millionaires, so they have the cash to splash 

Indeed. Many are wealthier than us.

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2 hours ago, copper123 said:

If it were an american coin of similar rarity it would be worth 2 million dollars

NGC reckon this:-

Quote

This 1945 Great Britain Silver King George VI 3 Pence was authenticated and graded NGC MS 63 by the 
third-party grading service Numismatic Guaranty Corporation. It is scheduled to be auctioned in March 2020 with
an estimate of £15,000 to £25,000 (about $20,000 to $30,000 USD).

Might be a slight underestimate.
 

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I think auctioneers deliberately set low estimates with "exciting lots" to generate more interest. Then will be brag about how many times it sold above estimate. 

But to be honest, the coin doesn't do anything for me. It is just visually very unimpressive. An "unloved" series as VS has pointed out. I would much rather own an Edward VIII threepence if both are the same price. (But in reality, I will of course never own neither!)

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I see the current bid on this is already an impressive £20K.  Nonetheless, I wonder if the current apprehension and economic uncertainty might just keep it around top estimate, or at least under £30k.

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I would be shocked at less than 50k, even in the current market and virus-phobia.

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16 minutes ago, Varietalis said:

I see the current bid on this is already an impressive £20K.  Nonetheless, I wonder if the current apprehension and economic uncertainty might just keep it around top estimate, or at least under £30k.

Maybe the economic uncertainty will push it higher as people look for other opportunities to invest stagnant savings???. I wouldn't be surprised if it exceeded the top end.

24% though 🤬

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Yes, good point.  Also more people at home may mean more live bid activity on the day.

I wonder where the coin sold in 1970 is.  Maybe it will resurface if the recently found coin makes a big splash at auction.  Assuming the buyer back then was at least 40 years old it makes you wonder if the original buyer is still current owner.   

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Yes, intriguing. Even though this coin is right up my alley, I can not hope to compete so will just watch from the sidelines. I wonder if there are any more or if the "family" has any more specimens?

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On 3/22/2020 at 1:04 PM, VickySilver said:

I would be shocked at less than 50k, even in the current market and virus-phobia.

SOLD FOR £50,000.

A record for a threepence surely.  

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Posted (edited)

Yes, I believe that supplants some of the Ed VIII thrift plant brassies......

Hey, I had a pretty good guess there! I believe the current economic crisis may have held the price down a bit. 

Edited by VickySilver

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49 minutes ago, VickySilver said:

Yes, I believe that supplants some of the Ed VIII thrift plant brassies......

Hey, I had a pretty good guess there! I believe the current economic crisis may have held the price down a bit. 

In terms of £/surface area, this must be the most expensive milled British non-gold coin. 

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Posted (edited)
57 minutes ago, VickySilver said:

Yes, I believe that supplants some of the Ed VIII thrift plant brassies......

Hey, I had a pretty good guess there! I believe the current economic crisis may have held the price down a bit. 

I would have thought it should have another £10, 000 really

Edited by copper123

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