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9 minutes ago, Martinminerva said:

Absolutely, Mike, in the case of my 4 plus 3. In fact, in lower grade they are easy to spot as the sea wears flatter and obviously crosses the linear circle. Also, the date spacing is intermediate between the narrow and wide date versions of the common, later reverses for 1875.

Hmm...well it might be interesting to have a "rare in high grade" listing.

I know you mentioned the 1879 narrow date earlier - that truly is rare in high grade. I've only ever seen 2 or 3 with lustre. Although not difficult even in mid grade. 

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Absolutely agree! Very few narrow date 79s in truly high grade, and likewise for open 3 1863s. I'd go further and even add 1864... All over the place in lower grade, but how many unc with lustre? In the old Cope and Rayner English Milled Coins, they had rarity estimates for different grades; maybe that should be the case amongst us penny-ists? But then of course we're talking about whether rarity is total extant or just nice ones! And that's always likely to be a moot point. I just try to get the best I can at the time and slowly improve grade if and when the chance comes along.

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1 hour ago, 1949threepence said:

and they're definitely F79's where the sea crosses the linear circle?

Yep!

 

(....and when it crosses the Meridian it's summertime in Azerbaijan,  and Formica Day in the Solomon Islands.   Lucky them. )

 

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42 minutes ago, Martinminerva said:

Absolutely agree! Very few narrow date 79s in truly high grade, and likewise for open 3 1863s. I'd go further and even add 1864... All over the place in lower grade, but how many unc with lustre? In the old Cope and Rayner English Milled Coins, they had rarity estimates for different grades; maybe that should be the case amongst us penny-ists? But then of course we're talking about whether rarity is total extant or just nice ones! And that's always likely to be a moot point. I just try to get the best I can at the time and slowly improve grade if and when the chance comes along.

Agreed. Very true, about the 1864's as well, Martin.  But I will add the 'look out for the forgotten VF area' again.

Ooh- rarity estimates for different grades????  My kind of book!

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45 minutes ago, Martinminerva said:

Absolutely agree! Very few narrow date 79s in truly high grade, and likewise for open 3 1863s. I'd go further and even add 1864... All over the place in lower grade, but how many unc with lustre? In the old Cope and Rayner English Milled Coins, they had rarity estimates for different grades; maybe that should be the case amongst us penny-ists? But then of course we're talking about whether rarity is total extant or just nice ones! And that's always likely to be a moot point. I just try to get the best I can at the time and slowly improve grade if and when the chance comes along.

Although unfortunately Cope & Rayner don't go into too much detail on varieties, so 1879 is shown as date type only, as is 1875 (apart from 1875H).

With 1864, however, we have a range from Scarce for a fair version of the plain 4 to Rarity 4 for "as struck". That disparity is even steeper for the crosslet 4, which ranges from Rare for a fair version, to Rarity 6 for an as struck.     

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1 hour ago, Martinminerva said:

Absolutely agree! Very few narrow date 79s in truly high grade, and likewise for open 3 1863s. I'd go further and even add 1864... All over the place in lower grade, but how many unc with lustre? In the old Cope and Rayner English Milled Coins, they had rarity estimates for different grades; maybe that should be the case amongst us penny-ists? But then of course we're talking about whether rarity is total extant or just nice ones! And that's always likely to be a moot point. I just try to get the best I can at the time and slowly improve grade if and when the chance comes along.

I've heard it said an UNC 1864 is rarer than an UNC 1869.

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1 hour ago, Martinminerva said:

Very few narrow date 1879s in truly high grade,

Anyone got a photo of a lustrous one please ?

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7 hours ago, secret santa said:

Anyone got a photo of a lustrous one please ?

There you go Richard:- (It's not mine. I do have a lustrous one, from the Hiram Brown sale, but for whatever reason, can't find the pic of it at the moment, and don't have time this morning)

  

narrow date 1879 from tony clayton's site.jpg

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10 hours ago, Martinminerva said:

Absolutely, Mike, in the case of my 4 plus 3. In fact, in lower grade they are easy to spot as the sea wears flatter and obviously crosses the linear circle. Also, the date spacing is intermediate between the narrow and wide date versions of the common, later reverses for 1875.

They are easy to spot , even in poor condition (as long as the exergue and the sea level is visible , it creates an unbroken band straight across the coin)  .My one can only be described as very poor but it is easily identifiable .There always seems to be a couple of equally poor condition ones on ebay , when I look to see if I can find an upgrade . 

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3 hours ago, 1949threepence said:

There you go Richard:

I think it's Ceri's ?

I'll use the James Workman example to avoid any issues of misuse.

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18 hours ago, secret santa said:

I've maintained a record of rare penny sales for about 15 years but never included F79 - going back through similar records as Mike has, I find about 16 examples, of which some may be duplicates. It's an unspectacular die pairing and has never attracted any attention.

I'm actually quite fond of it Richard. I think It has a certain appeal, being the last time that reverse is ever seen. It has also been kind to me over the years in that the profit on the 6 lower grade pieces I have sold has more than paid for the uncirculated example I pictured earlier.

Now that we are talking about 1879's I think the same is also true of the F96, last time we see that obverse, although (unlike the F79) usually really difficult to spot that one. 

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4 hours ago, secret santa said:

I think it's Ceri's ?

I'll use the James Workman example to avoid any issues of misuse.

It's from the Tony Clayton website, courtesy of Martin Platt.

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3 hours ago, alfnail said:

I'm actually quite fond of it Richard. I think It has a certain appeal, being the last time that reverse is ever seen. It has also been kind to me over the years in that the profit on the 6 lower grade pieces I have sold has more than paid for the uncirculated example I pictured earlier.

Now that we are talking about 1879's I think the same is also true of the F96, last time we see that obverse, although (unlike the F79) usually really difficult to spot that one. 

Yes, another unfashionable, unsung, scarce penny. One you hardly ever see advertised or mentioned.

Another scarce penny is the F164A - and again, vanishingly rare in high grade. I think on here Terry and Gary have high grade examples.The rest of the known examples are good fine at best.  

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7 hours ago, 1949threepence said:

Yes, another unfashionable, unsung, scarce penny. One you hardly ever see advertised or mentioned.

Another scarce penny is the F164A - and again, vanishingly rare in high grade. I think on here Terry and Gary have high grade examples.The rest of the known examples are good fine at best.  

Sounds like the 1903 open 3......

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18 hours ago, 1949threepence said:

It's from the Tony Clayton website, courtesy of Martin Platt.

Yes, it's Ceri Davies' coin - it's a shame he doesn't share his collection.

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2 hours ago, secret santa said:

Yes, it's Ceri Davies' coin - it's a shame he doesn't share his collection.

It is indeed - that 1879 narrow date is a truly choice item.

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I've added a page to my rarest penny site called "Scarce Pennies" and included a few such as the 1863 open 3, F79, F98, F164A etc each with a single example.

I'm interested to hear other suggested inclusions.

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Not sure if you are including coppers Richard as there are a few varieties scarce in high grade but the 1843 NO Colon better than VF is really hard to find.

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If I may suggest two others Richard ,   The F14  1860  3+E     and the  F77   1874  8+G  .

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26 minutes ago, terrysoldpennies said:

If I may suggest two others Richard ,   The F14  1860  3+E     and the  F77   1874  8+G  .

Indeed, how often do you see an F77 offered for sale? Next to never - and in high grade, never.  Just checked LCA. They've offered 3 in the last 16 years, on a level with the F76, and none of them any great shakes, gradewise. 

Maybe also the F20 and the F25 deserve a shout for high grade specimens. Again, very few and far between. My F20 is GF and was not only the best I could get, but the only one I could get as I've not seen a better one offered in all these years. Similarly, the F25 - not desperately uncommon in low to mid grade, but a lustred specimen almost impossible to get. I was exceptionally fortunate to get one in February last year at the DNW Hiram Brown sale. Subdued lustre specimen, for which I paid £1200 hammer. The only other ones I've even seen with lustre are the Workman sale specimen, and the one in Richard's collection. 

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Yes, that F77 is hardly ever seen...underpriced as well.

I think mine are both about VF ish - cheap, but unlikely finds over the years.

 

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I agree about the F77 - very hard to get lustrous examples, likewise F20/25,  but my records show that F14 grows more plentiful with lustre all the time (at least 18 to date).

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4 hours ago, 1949threepence said:

Indeed, how often do you see an F77 offered for sale? Next to never - and in high grade, never. 

I know someone who's got a nice one Mike!

I have found 4 on ebay in the past 15 years.

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19 minutes ago, alfnail said:

I know someone who's got a nice one Mike!

I have found 4 on ebay in the past 15 years.

Yes indeed, and thanks Ian. The one you sold be is a beauty. 

Out of interest, were the 4 you found on e bay advertised as F77's, or just as date types and you spotted that they were F77's (or a mixture of both)?

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Yes Mike, that was my best one, and from my own collection, so was quite painful.

Now that I have carefully checked my records I see that I have actually bought 5 F77's, and none of them were advertised as F77's.....including one in a group LCA lot. 

The one pictured below is quite interesting because on Gouby Page 64 he only has a single type of date width for this variety, BP 1874Fe, but this low grade example is clearly narrower. This coin was 50p!

 

F77 Narrow Date.jpg

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