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1903 open 3 penny


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#1 azda

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Posted 06 April 2011 - 12:25 AM

What is the best graded open 3? All i've seen are Fs or worse grades, is there a VF or EF out there? Why so few higher graded ones?

2nd question, was this the result of a broken die, engraving? Die clog? Anyone on the forum (Bernie) got a better than a Fine graded open 3 to post?

Edited by azda, 06 April 2011 - 12:26 AM.

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#2 davidrj

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Posted 06 April 2011 - 12:41 AM

What is the best graded open 3? All i've seen are Fs or worse grades, is there a VF or EF out there? Why so few higher graded ones?

2nd question, was this the result of a broken die, engraving? Die clog? Anyone on the forum (Bernie) got a better than a Fine graded open 3 to post?


Here's mine

Posted Image

GF?? never seen a photo of a higher grade

Not a clogged die, definitely a different font

:)

David

Edited by davidrj, 06 April 2011 - 12:42 AM.


#3 Peter

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Posted 06 April 2011 - 06:01 AM

That is so problem free I raise my cup of tea. :)
However I would not spot an open 1903 in years.
Pennies is for loo's ;)

#4 AardHawk

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Posted 06 April 2011 - 06:20 AM

There is a very interesting letter in Coin Monthly that postulates that this is really a 3 over 2 variety. Mr Alexander, the writer of the letter contributed to many CM articles, including the excellent series "Variants of the Modern British Penny 1895-1967".

What do you guys think of his hypothesis?

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#5 azda

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Posted 06 April 2011 - 08:04 AM

Here's an 1893/2 notice the spike in the middle of the 3, not quite sure of th above post theory

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#6 argentumandcoins

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Posted 06 April 2011 - 08:15 AM

There is a very interesting letter in Coin Monthly that postulates that this is really a 3 over 2 variety. Mr Alexander, the writer of the letter contributed to many CM articles, including the excellent series "Variants of the Modern British Penny 1895-1967".

What do you guys think of his hypothesis?


Anything is possible but there is no evidence at all for an underlying digit. The 3 is indeed a strange shape and to my knowledge does not match any style of 3 in use at the mint at the time, which suggests it was a freehand job. As we all write numbers differently it could just be down to that?
That's my theory anyway :)

#7 Cerbera100

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Posted 06 April 2011 - 11:26 AM

Certainly an interesting theory... not massively convinced myself, but as John said, anything is possible!

Colin Cooke's Workman Part 2 (Lot 79) claims to be the best known at Fine (link)... no idea why none exist in better grade - I know only a few exist, but people have normal 1903 pennies in Unc, so why not a open 3?!
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#8 azda

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Posted 06 April 2011 - 12:40 PM

Exactly My Point cerbera, Why nothing better when there's normal 1903s in UNC
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#9 davidrj

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Posted 06 April 2011 - 01:11 PM

Exactly My Point cerbera, Why nothing better when there's normal 1903s in UNC


Simple numbers from Court's article - I don't think this variety was recognized before the 1960's so none would have been cherry picked when new

Posted Image

Edited by davidrj, 06 April 2011 - 01:18 PM.


#10 VickySilver

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Posted 06 April 2011 - 03:47 PM

Wow, those are impressive stats. Now only if we could get more excited about the variety itself. Rare appears to be the word...

#11 Accumulator

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Posted 06 April 2011 - 03:59 PM

I've been looking hard for a better one but, as has been said, they are all typically Good to Fine.

Not particularly proud of mine, but here it is anyway:

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Edited by Accumulator, 06 April 2011 - 04:00 PM.


#12 scott

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Posted 07 April 2011 - 05:52 PM

someone put the open 3 design over a 2 and see what happens?

#13 davidrj

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Posted 07 April 2011 - 08:09 PM

someone put the open 3 design over a 2 and see what happens?


You only have to look at the shape of the 2 in a 1902 penny to see the 3/2 theory is total oblox!

I'll post some high res pictures later

#14 1949threepence

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Posted 07 April 2011 - 08:42 PM

There is a very interesting letter in Coin Monthly that postulates that this is really a 3 over 2 variety. Mr Alexander, the writer of the letter contributed to many CM articles, including the excellent series "Variants of the Modern British Penny 1895-1967".

What do you guys think of his hypothesis?


To his credit, he does make most of the article sound like a very plausible theory, until you read his last sentence or two, about the Royal Mint possibly experimenting to see what they might be dealing with in the next date. Then you realise it's actually complete tosh. Yes, the design of the open 3 is unusual, but then differently designed three's had been tried before (compare 1863 with 1873/83/93, for example). Moreover, it doesn't actually fit the "2" very well.

I think Alexander got carried away by his own hype on that occasion. Interesting read, nonetheless.

#15 davidrj

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Posted 07 April 2011 - 10:04 PM


someone put the open 3 design over a 2 and see what happens?


You only have to look at the shape of the 2 in a 1902 penny to see the 3/2 theory is total oblox!

I'll post some high res pictures later


Posted Image

nuff sed!

:)

David

#16 Red Riley

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Posted 08 April 2011 - 02:56 PM

OK, I'm going to come out with one of my totally unromantic theories again.

1) They ran out of 3 punches;

2) They detailed the apprentice to cut a new one;

3) After a few thousand pennies had been run off, they decided it was rubbish;

4) They got a proper engraver to cut a new one;

5) They gave the apprentice a clip round the ear.

How does that sound?

#17 davidrj

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Posted 08 April 2011 - 03:08 PM

OK, I'm going to come out with one of my totally unromantic theories again.

1) They ran out of 3 punches;

2) They detailed the apprentice to cut a new one;

3) After a few thousand pennies had been run off, they decided it was rubbish;

4) They got a proper engraver to cut a new one;

5) They gave the apprentice a clip round the ear.

How does that sound?



Sounds good to me!

An alternate theory I've had for some of these "1 working die only" varieties, is that they were made after the main run for domestic use, when a late application came in from one of the colonies, this could explain why some were rarer in UK circulation than may be expected

:)

David

#18 Gary D

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Posted 08 April 2011 - 03:50 PM


OK, I'm going to come out with one of my totally unromantic theories again.

1) They ran out of 3 punches;

2) They detailed the apprentice to cut a new one;

3) After a few thousand pennies had been run off, they decided it was rubbish;

4) They got a proper engraver to cut a new one;

5) They gave the apprentice a clip round the ear.

How does that sound?



Sounds good to me!

An alternate theory I've had for some of these "1 working die only" varieties, is that they were made after the main run for domestic use, when a late application came in from one of the colonies, this could explain why some were rarer in UK circulation than may be expected

:)

David


Although the 3 over 2 doesn't work for me I can see that possibly they got to the end of the run and needed a new die to finish off. They then bodged something up to run the last few thousand.

#19 1949threepence

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Posted 08 April 2011 - 07:11 PM

OK, I'm going to come out with one of my totally unromantic theories again.

1) They ran out of 3 punches;

2) They detailed the apprentice to cut a new one;

3) After a few thousand pennies had been run off, they decided it was rubbish;

4) They got a proper engraver to cut a new one;

5) They gave the apprentice a clip round the ear.

How does that sound?


Much closer to real life.

#20 Peckris

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Posted 08 April 2011 - 08:04 PM


OK, I'm going to come out with one of my totally unromantic theories again.

1) They ran out of 3 punches;

2) They detailed the apprentice to cut a new one;

3) After a few thousand pennies had been run off, they decided it was rubbish;

4) They got a proper engraver to cut a new one;

5) They gave the apprentice a clip round the ear.

How does that sound?


Much closer to real life.



:D

#21 SionGilbey

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Posted 09 April 2011 - 07:16 PM



OK, I'm going to come out with one of my totally unromantic theories again.

1) They ran out of 3 punches;

2) They detailed the apprentice to cut a new one;

3) After a few thousand pennies had been run off, they decided it was rubbish;

4) They got a proper engraver to cut a new one;

5) They gave the apprentice a clip round the ear.

How does that sound?


Much closer to real life.



:D


I reckon that to really determine the causes for these things one of us should do a bit of revision on the mint and it's history.

#22 1949threepence

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Posted 09 April 2011 - 08:53 PM




OK, I'm going to come out with one of my totally unromantic theories again.

1) They ran out of 3 punches;

2) They detailed the apprentice to cut a new one;

3) After a few thousand pennies had been run off, they decided it was rubbish;

4) They got a proper engraver to cut a new one;

5) They gave the apprentice a clip round the ear.

How does that sound?


Much closer to real life.



:D


I reckon that to really determine the causes for these things one of us should do a bit of revision on the mint and it's history.


Where would you start, Sion ?

I'd lay odds that if the information could be unearthed, someone would have done it already ~ as with so many Royal Mint mysteries.

#23 SionGilbey

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Posted 09 April 2011 - 09:00 PM





OK, I'm going to come out with one of my totally unromantic theories again.

1) They ran out of 3 punches;

2) They detailed the apprentice to cut a new one;

3) After a few thousand pennies had been run off, they decided it was rubbish;

4) They got a proper engraver to cut a new one;

5) They gave the apprentice a clip round the ear.

How does that sound?


Much closer to real life.



:D


I reckon that to really determine the causes for these things one of us should do a bit of revision on the mint and it's history.


Where would you start, Sion ?

I'd lay odds that if the information could be unearthed, someone would have done it already ~ as with so many Royal Mint mysteries.


Well as I am from a family of historians I'd collect sources from previous mint workers (hard bit is tracking them down and then you can just chat over the phone, depends if you get an old grump or not)
Lots of information is not on the internet yet for things like mint details but I'm sure if one emailed the Mint enough about it's history eventually they'd help you out - after all that is their job.
You could also buy a few books on the mint and see if you can pick up any names from there, or any information.
Looking at existing information is always the first step.

#24 1949threepence

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Posted 09 April 2011 - 09:38 PM






OK, I'm going to come out with one of my totally unromantic theories again.

1) They ran out of 3 punches;

2) They detailed the apprentice to cut a new one;

3) After a few thousand pennies had been run off, they decided it was rubbish;

4) They got a proper engraver to cut a new one;

5) They gave the apprentice a clip round the ear.

How does that sound?


Much closer to real life.



:D


I reckon that to really determine the causes for these things one of us should do a bit of revision on the mint and it's history.


Where would you start, Sion ?

I'd lay odds that if the information could be unearthed, someone would have done it already ~ as with so many Royal Mint mysteries.


Well as I am from a family of historians I'd collect sources from previous mint workers (hard bit is tracking them down and then you can just chat over the phone, depends if you get an old grump or not)
Lots of information is not on the internet yet for things like mint details but I'm sure if one emailed the Mint enough about it's history eventually they'd help you out - after all that is their job.
You could also buy a few books on the mint and see if you can pick up any names from there, or any information.
Looking at existing information is always the first step.


I'll certainly admit that having a chat with a Royal Mint archivist, could be potentially very rewarding. Maybe one of us could approach them on behalf of the forum ?

Then go armed with a collection of highly relevant questions.

#25 SionGilbey

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Posted 09 April 2011 - 09:45 PM







OK, I'm going to come out with one of my totally unromantic theories again.

1) They ran out of 3 punches;

2) They detailed the apprentice to cut a new one;

3) After a few thousand pennies had been run off, they decided it was rubbish;

4) They got a proper engraver to cut a new one;

5) They gave the apprentice a clip round the ear.

How does that sound?


Much closer to real life.



:D


I reckon that to really determine the causes for these things one of us should do a bit of revision on the mint and it's history.


Where would you start, Sion ?

I'd lay odds that if the information could be unearthed, someone would have done it already ~ as with so many Royal Mint mysteries.


Well as I am from a family of historians I'd collect sources from previous mint workers (hard bit is tracking them down and then you can just chat over the phone, depends if you get an old grump or not)
Lots of information is not on the internet yet for things like mint details but I'm sure if one emailed the Mint enough about it's history eventually they'd help you out - after all that is their job.
You could also buy a few books on the mint and see if you can pick up any names from there, or any information.
Looking at existing information is always the first step.


I'll certainly admit that having a chat with a Royal Mint archivist, could be potentially very rewarding. Maybe one of us could approach them on behalf of the forum ?

Then go armed with a collection of highly relevant questions.


I'll do a quick bit of googling to find some books and some enquiry phone numbers and emails in case I/another member of this forum wishes to pursue this interesting information which can give us more of an insight into the Royal Mint and it's odd varieties.

#26 Cerbera100

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Posted 10 April 2011 - 08:36 AM

Wouldnt it be nice if we could build a time-machine and go have a look!
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#27 azda

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Posted 10 April 2011 - 09:07 AM

Wouldnt it be nice if we could build a time-machine and go have a look!

And much quicker to, i'd obviously pick up a UNC open 3 along the way and anything else i could lay my hands on :ph34r:
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#28 Colin G.

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Posted 10 April 2011 - 09:51 AM

Exactly My Point cerbera, Why nothing better when there's normal 1903s in UNC


At least one will be out there somewhere, I would put money on it. It has happened with all other varieties (except for the obvious die number coins etc) and I am sure it will eventually happen with the 1903 open 3 so keep looking!!!

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#29 Cerbera100

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Posted 10 April 2011 - 09:52 AM

Ok, you can have the open 3 penny, but I get the 1342 Double Florins - all of them!
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#30 Cerbera100

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Posted 10 April 2011 - 10:07 AM

Ok, you can have the open 3 penny, but I get the 1342 Double Florins - all of them!


Eek! Typo... meant 1344!
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