Jump to content
British Coin Forum - Predecimal.com

50 Years of RotographicCoinpublications.com A Rotographic Imprint. Price guide reference book publishers since 1959. Lots of books on coins, banknotes and medals. Please visit and like Coin Publications on Facebook for offers and updates.

Coin Publications on Facebook

   Rotographic    

The current range of books. Click the image above to see them on Amazon (printed and Kindle format). More info on coinpublications.com

predecimal.comPredecimal.com. One of the most popular websites on British pre-decimal coins, with hundreds of coins for sale, advice for beginners and interesting information.

Sign in to follow this  
Menger

Score lines or graffiti

Recommended Posts

Posted (edited)

I have a 1862 proof groat mule (with 3d young head #2 obverse).  The reverse appears to have been scored as indicated by the lines superimposed on the attached photo. The line from shoulder to heel is really quite heavy and the others very light.  Have you seen anything like this before? 
 

 

EC55D90D-6A40-48C4-BC45-419637DB45A6.jpeg

Edited by Menger
Typos

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Someone kindly shared this - which seems more accomplished. 

93C2B039-F948-4471-801F-6F4A4698BA0E.jpeg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Correction - The mule is 3d obverse young head #3 not #2 as stated above. 

7E1BB3CF-D75A-4A4F-ABE6-B70DD4586EF8.jpeg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
33 minutes ago, Menger said:

I have a 1862 proof groat mule (with 3d young head #2 obverse).  The reverse appears to have been scored as indicated by the lines superimposed on the attached photo. The line from shoulder to heel is really quite heavy and the others very light.  Have you seen anything like this before? 
 

 

 

Many times. I've even had coins with writing on them, as have others. 

I don't know why, but it often seems as though very rare coins seem more than usually afflicted with such graffiti and also signs of cleaning. Here, for example, is my Freeman 30, 6 over 8 penny, where it looks as though Britannia has a club at her side. I assume, the result of deliberate action:-

 

 

 

  

britannia's club cropped.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, 1949threepence said:

Many times. I've even had coins with writing on them, as have others. 

I don't know why, but it often seems as though very rare coins seem more than usually afflicted with such graffiti and also signs of cleaning. Here, for example, is my Freeman 30, 6 over 8 penny, where it looks as though Britannia has a club at her side. I assume, the result of deliberate action:-

 

 

 

  

britannia's club cropped.jpg

Thanks. The lines on the 4d seem quite considered though - as if somehow dividing up the design to some end. That is clearly the case in the US coin example above. I wonder if the mints themselves engaged in such exercises. It would certainly take some skill to mark up a tiny groat. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My own estimation is that it's scoring - if graffiti I can't make out anything that makes sense.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Menger said:

Correction - The mule is 3d obverse young head #3 not #2 as stated above. 

Unlisted in Davies by the looks of it?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Mr T said:

Unlisted in Davies by the looks of it?

Thanks. That is right. ESC lists it as 3357 R5.  I also have a 1853 proof groat muled with the forth young head 3d obverse (attached).  As these young head obverses did not appear until the late 1860’s and 70’s respectively, presumably the coins were some kind of restrike / hanky panky  by the mint.  That is why I wonder if the lines reflect some deliberate scoring by the mint - some kind of lining up muled parts as they experiment to create a new Frankenstein? The legend on the reverse of the 1862 is all over the place - with the U back to front! 

EBD14C3D-7CBC-4193-9A3D-CB114B16DECA.jpeg

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, 1949threepence said:

Many times. I've even had coins with writing on them, as have others. 

I don't know why, but it often seems as though very rare coins seem more than usually afflicted with such graffiti and also signs of cleaning. Here, for example, is my Freeman 30, 6 over 8 penny, where it looks as though Britannia has a club at her side. I assume, the result of deliberate action:-

 

 

 

  

britannia's club cropped.jpg

I suspect graffiti/cleaning appears to afflict rarer coins because more common coins that have graffiti or cleaning have over time been jettisoned from the worldwide pool of collectible coins.  Graffiti is not an evolutionary advantage in coin-world - unless particularly artful. A Bansky perhaps … 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, Peckris 2 said:

My own estimation is that it's scoring - if graffiti I can't make out anything that makes sense.

Thanks. Yes that is my view. It seems far to precise and deliberate to have been done casually.  Like the photo of the US One cent - the lines are professional but not perfect - and clearly done by hand. 
 

Here is a link showing how for the one cent (above) the score lines were part of a design process in the mint.   If anyone has seen anything similar at the Royal Mint it would be great to hear. I suspect my groat is an example of this - though it may be my wishful thinking. 
 

https://rexrarities.com/pages/the-1843-engraved-mature-head-cent-design-model

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

For what it's worth, I think any kind of intentional change to a coin post mint is graffiti unless there is convincing provenance that it was done at the mint itself for a serious purpose. Perhaps the most practical approach is to assume that all post mint changes to be graffiti unless proven not to be the case. Otherwise, there will be endless attempts to explain why damage on coins was done for legitimate purposes. 

 

Edited by Sword
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Sword said:

For what it's worth, I think any kind of intentional change to a coin post mint is graffiti unless there is convincing provenance that it was done at the mint itself for a serious purpose. Perhaps the most practical approach is to assume that all post mint changes to be graffiti unless proven not to be the case. Otherwise, there will be endless attempts to explain why damage on coins was done for legitimate purposes. 

 

I agree with the definition. It certainly seems reasonable to presume all post mint changes are graffiti.  But how to know if it is post mint? I think that requires judgment based on whatever evidence we can glean. So I will keep an eye out for any further evidence as to whether the marking up practice was common in the Royal Mint.  Here is another that seems to be “marked up” with a score line horizontally through the horse.  

352EB663-BC0A-479D-8B6C-6960CE3A797F.jpeg

Edited by Menger
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Menger said:

I agree with the definition. It certainly seems reasonable to presume all post mint changes are graffiti.  But how to know if it is post mint? I think that requires judgment based on whatever evidence we can glean. So I will keep an eye out for any further evidence as to whether the marking up practice was common in the Royal Mint.  Here is another that seems to be “marked up” with a score line horizontally through the horse.  

I think the onus is to show that it was done at the mint if one were to convinced others it isn't graffiti.  My view is that the minting of a coin is over once it has been struck. Even if the lines were done by someone at the mint later on to illustrate something, it still wouldn't be part of the minting process. Other members might disagree of course. 

For the coin in the OP, I agree the lines were deliberately done but they don't look very straight. If submitted to a TPG, I assume it will only get a details grade with the descriptor "scratched" as they won't give any benefit of the doubt. 

The photo you just posted is some sort of pattern? What was it graded as just out of interest?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes. The onus would be on a seller if seeking a buyer.  I agree the minting stops in the strike. I do think it matters however thereafter whether marking up lines are done by the Mint as part of a process or done by some bloke in a pub with a penknife. It matters to me anyway. 🤣

The groat was graded PF65 by NGC   The other coin (which is not mine) is a pattern crown that NGC graded AU55  

 

 

1CF96FFA-9606-4987-9F15-BC1C5D0C2C2F.jpeg

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/1/2022 at 5:44 PM, Menger said:

Yes. The onus would be on a seller if seeking a buyer.  I agree the minting stops in the strike. I do think it matters however thereafter whether marking up lines are done by the Mint as part of a process or done by some bloke in a pub with a penknife. It matters to me anyway. 🤣

The groat was graded PF65 by NGC   The other coin (which is not mine) is a pattern crown that NGC graded AU55  

 

 

1CF96FFA-9606-4987-9F15-BC1C5D0C2C2F.jpeg

Is there any chance there’s an ‘affordable’ 1817 pattern crown? I’ve found that this sold for $80,000 in 2019 so I already know the answer.

And holy smokes, this pattern crown originally came from Pistrucci’s collection!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don' t think we will be able to conclude who "dunnit".   Wow, 65, seems a bit strong especially given what appears a bit of a rub to the central reverse device (Britannia) and the scoring. If I could post I would put up my 1853, 1857 and 1862s but none have scoring of this nature.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Could it be that the coin was maybe used as a trial and the lines were from the mint looking at altering someting and the lines highlighting this?

Just thinking out loud

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Only thing is that save for the 1888 "Colonial" issue, the last de facto circulating Britannia groat was 1855!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/16/2022 at 5:53 PM, azda said:

Could it be that the coin was maybe used as a trial and the lines were from the mint looking at altering someting and the lines highlighting this?

Just thinking out loud

Thanks. Yes. That was my guess. Not to produce a circulating coin or a new proof but to recreate marketable restrikes of the 1862 proof (given that we know the obverse being used was not the original from that year and the reverse seems to have been cobbled together - see the lettering all over the place). There was clearly a market for these proof groats from 1837, 1853, 1857 and 1862 (all that appear with later obverse effigies) that appears to have been catered for into the late 60s to 80s (given the first appearance of those effigies). 

Or perhaps it was just a bloke in a pub with a penknife after all. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/16/2022 at 10:01 AM, VickySilver said:

I don' t think we will be able to conclude who "dunnit".   Wow, 65, seems a bit strong especially given what appears a bit of a rub to the central reverse device (Britannia) and the scoring. If I could post I would put up my 1853, 1857 and 1862s but none have scoring of this nature.

Yes - perhaps they were net grading as the obverse is notch or two nicer. Or perhaps they just missed the scoring. CGS had it as UNC 90. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Perhaps it was nothing to do with an 1862 proof groat at all. Maybe they were trying out replacement obverse dies for the late run of 1839 sets.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, regardless, I love these Britannia groats. Sad to say I missed the 1837 that sold a while ago..... How late was the last run of 1839 sets? Yikes, I seem to have recalled they did some in the 1880s or so......

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, VickySilver said:

Well, regardless, I love these Britannia groats. Sad to say I missed the 1837 that sold a while ago..... How late was the last run of 1839 sets? Yikes, I seem to have recalled they did some in the 1880s or so......

I reckon so. It is the only way you can reconcile a third head (where the earliest known use is 1880) proof sixpence obverse paired with an 1839 reverse. The mint shut for refurbishment in 1882 when the old Soho presses were replaced, making this a possible terminal date for the sets, unless the die fixing mechanisms were compatible. I suspect they ran off a handful to order in this late period, the number of said sixpences extant giving a rough estimate of total sets produced. There was one in a Heritage or Goldberg(?) sale a few years back, but the sale date eludes me at present, so I would have to check the library. I vaguely recall it had the opposite die axis to the sets with the regular obverse sixpence, which leads me to think that the 1839/41 halfpenny in my possession may well be concurrent with this oddball sixpence as it also has an inverted die axis and is correspondingly rare, contrary to the regular 1839 or 1839/43 halfpennies.

There is an 1839 proof groat with an inverted die axis, noted in ESC as being rarer than the regular en-medaille proof. Is this a third instance of a late strike? If so, the scored reverse would tie in well with the article I wrote in the BNJ about the inverted die axis 1841 halfpennies, where they had used the same worn reverse die. The condition didn't matter as the obverse was the die of interest. By extension, it is also possible there are trials extant of all the denominations if there had been a long period without any 1839 sets produced.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×