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1 hour ago, JLS said:

Yes, I got just under £200 for it which was rather pleasing - I guess roughly full catalog price for a EF+/AU coin; Mark Rasmussen & co. rate the regular 1861 6 + G at £75/£275 in EF/BU in the 2020 price guide. 

There do seem to be a lot of these 1861/1 dies, which does suggest to me that the variety can't be terribly scarce. But then in nice grade with lustre, not necessarily so easy to find. 

Correct me if i am wrong (again), but is that really a proof for under £200?

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5 hours ago, Iannich48 said:

Correct me if i am wrong (again), but is that really a proof for under £200?

No, it's the circulation strike 1861/1 6 + G I posted originally - go back a page or two in the discussion. EF to AU coin. 

That said, if you want a 19th century British proof under £200, look for George III farthings, they come up at that price level occasionally. 

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It's well documented that one of the weaknesses of George V pennies prior to the late 1920's, is the poor or weak strike on so many. This typically results in either very poor hair detail, or the breastplate very weak or absent. I've been trying to obtain as many as possible which have decent examples of both.

I've now obtained a 1916 penny, which is not a recessed ear type, but does have a decent breastplate and good hair detail. Proves that if you're patient, you can obtain good specimens. I've now got well struck up examples of all the period 1911 to 1927, with the exception of 1913 Freeman's 175 (poor breastplate and hair) and 176,  (very good hair but poor breastplate).

It's quite unusual to get such a good non recessed ear specimen for 1916. 

    

full breastplate 1916 rev.jpg

full breastplate 1916 obv.jpg

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2 hours ago, 1949threepence said:

It's well documented that one of the weaknesses of George V pennies prior to the late 1920's, is the poor or weak strike on so many. This typically results in either very poor hair detail, or the breastplate very weak or absent. I've been trying to obtain as many as possible which have decent examples of both.

I've now obtained a 1916 penny, which is not a recessed ear type, but does have a decent breastplate and good hair detail. Proves that if you're patient, you can obtain good specimens. I've now got well struck up examples of all the period 1911 to 1927, with the exception of 1913 Freeman's 175 (poor breastplate and hair) and 176,  (very good hair but poor breastplate).

It's quite unusual to get such a good non recessed ear specimen for 1916.

Yes, that's a nice example. Finding a good one is rather haphazard since the reverse ghosting and weak breastplate aren’t deliberate but often occur 'accidentally' as a result of the deep obverse design - it's not always going to be the case.

However the weak hair IS deliberate - it resulted from the overuse of dies during and immediately after WW1.

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Is that the same one sold by Rasmussen in 2006?

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Yes it is. Add another £40k since Mark Rasmussen last sold it in 2018. 30% uplift isn't bad IF they can sell it this year with the added NGC hype. I have my doubts though. Despite all the comparisons in their ad copy to 1933 examples, I'd still prefer a 1933 example at that price.

By the way, do any of you know if the Royal Mint has confirmed that it is unique and not that another will turn up on Ebay in a battered old tin of pennies 'found in Marleybob's attic'?

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Posted (edited)

Found an interesting article by M. Mapleton in the February 1971 edition of Coin Monthly, on the general topic of die No's under dates. Specifically mentioned at points in the article are the die numbers under 1863 pennies and die letters on 1862 halfpennies. These remain as big a mystery today as they were nearly 50 years ago. 

According to the article, the Royal Mint kept no records as to why the die numbers were used, and we are just left with the theories of either experimentation to test die wear or a means of identifying an individual operative.

Anyway, here is the article in its entirety for anyone interested. They're not brilliant photos, so apologies for that, but they are readable:-

 

 

      

Mapleton 1.jpg

Mapleton 2.jpg

Edited by 1949threepence
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I've always thought the die numbers on bronze were simply an experiment before using them on silver.

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11 minutes ago, Peckris 2 said:

I've always thought the die numbers on bronze were simply an experiment before using them on silver.

You mean in a sort of "Try them out in a limited dummy run on the bronze first" type of way?  

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1 hour ago, Peckris 2 said:

I've always thought the die numbers on bronze were simply an experiment before using them on silver.

But to what end? The penny die is much bigger compared to the shillings or sixpences and the coins are in different metals and thicknesses. I'm not sure what you could compare. Maybe if they had used die numbers on the halfcrowns it might have stood comparison.

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My guess would be that there's something else going on with the dies, a bit like the broken bead on the recessed ear pennies. Perhaps there were five subtly different dies which they numbered up accordingly, to allow them and the coins produced to be distinguished at a glance. They made a small number of coins from each (maybe double figures ?), deemed the results unsatisfactory, and for some reason the coins were added to the mint output rather than melted down. 

If this was the case, I doubt it will ever be confirmed, given the poor state of the surviving examples. 

 

 

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8 hours ago, Rob said:

But to what end? The penny die is much bigger compared to the shillings or sixpences and the coins are in different metals and thicknesses. I'm not sure what you could compare. Maybe if they had used die numbers on the halfcrowns it might have stood comparison.

 

7 hours ago, JLS said:

My guess would be that there's something else going on with the dies, a bit like the broken bead on the recessed ear pennies. Perhaps there were five subtly different dies which they numbered up accordingly, to allow them and the coins produced to be distinguished at a glance. They made a small number of coins from each (maybe double figures ?), deemed the results unsatisfactory, and for some reason the coins were added to the mint output rather than melted down. 

If this was the case, I doubt it will ever be confirmed, given the poor state of the surviving examples. 

 

 

The problem is that we always were, and still remain, totally clueless as to what the actual reasons were, and will continue as such until, and if (seems highly improbable), some document is discovered which throws light on the matter. Clearly the issue is not one of any great importance, was no doubt very quickly forgotten by all involved, and the reasons never passed on to succeeding generations of mint workers - or anybody else for that matter.   

As for mintage possibly around 10k of each reached circulation, given the tiny numbers now extant. Can't see there being many more for the simple reason that none were collected in the early days, and if the mintage had been higher, they would have reached a wider cohort of the public, and been noticed by collectors of the time. We know that because none are in especially high grade. It was obviously much later when the first specimens were identified and put aside. Not sure when that was either - pre Peck, but no clear indication of roughly when. 

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22 hours ago, Rob said:

But to what end? The penny die is much bigger compared to the shillings or sixpences and the coins are in different metals and thicknesses. I'm not sure what you could compare. Maybe if they had used die numbers on the halfcrowns it might have stood comparison.

Agreed, but it's kind of telling that they were used on bronze in a very limited way just before they came in for silver.

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Thought this 1890 at auction today looked a bit different to any I have seen before, with higher rotated numeral 9. Was a bit tempted to have a bid but then realised it was Stacks Bowers and last item I bought from them (for $110)  I had to pay an additional $60 shipping + $35 Wire Fee

1890 Rotated High Nine.jpg

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Oh wow- I'm looking for 'dropped' 90 types nearly every day, so over the last few years I must have looked at thousands and found _one_ on Ebay,

one  amongst  all 1890's I've ever had, and that's it.

It that time I've NEVER seen that rotated 9....

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46 minutes ago, blakeyboy said:

Oh wow- I'm looking for 'dropped' 90 types nearly every day, so over the last few years I must have looked at thousands and found _one_ on Ebay,

one  amongst  all 1890's I've ever had, and that's it.

It that time I've NEVER seen that rotated 9....

Did you get it?

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1 hour ago, alfnail said:

Thought this 1890 at auction today looked a bit different to any I have seen before, with higher rotated numeral 9. Was a bit tempted to have a bid but then realised it was Stacks Bowers and last item I bought from them (for $110)  I had to pay an additional $60 shipping + $35 Wire Fee

1890 Rotated High Nine.jpg

 

19 minutes ago, blakeyboy said:

Oh wow- I'm looking for 'dropped' 90 types nearly every day, so over the last few years I must have looked at thousands and found _one_ on Ebay,

one  amongst  all 1890's I've ever had, and that's it.

It that time I've NEVER seen that rotated 9....

I see that the rotated 9 type you've posted Ian is a 15 tooth example , I also have a similar one with 14 teeth , the bottom one of the group of three

Blakey , is the raised up 9 type that your after, the one below , its the 14 tooth type listed by Gouby.    There are two other 14 tooth types that ive come across , the bottom one in the group of three pictured has the normal digit spacing with the slightly rotated 9, and the third type on the last coin below, which has the 9 and 8 very close like the raised 9 type, but has all the digits in a straight line , its not listed by Gouby

237565132_alldates3.thumb.JPG.f176930f0f9bcdf0465289c8c456dc80.JPG1163748659_189014toothwithdroped9-low.JPG.d3034c547249269e07ad1e2e1eb4f973.JPG696025701_189014toothnarrowdateexrare-low.jpg.6052c530104e53476dc89e2c072a68bd.jpg

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12 minutes ago, 1949threepence said:

Did you get it?

yes- I put it on here last year...can't remember what thread...

I still have worn example that turned up 30 years ago that I kept as a curio when i couldn't find anything about this variety.

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5 minutes ago, terrysoldpennies said:

 

 

Blakey , is the raised up 9 type that your after, the one below , its the 14 tooth type listed by Gouby.    There are two other 14 tooth types that ive come across , the bottom one in the group of three pictured has the normal digit spacing with the slightly rotated 9, and the third type on the last coin below, which has the 9 and 8 very close like the raised 9 type, but has all the digits in a straight line , its not listed by Gouby

 

I will dig out what I think I have- I haven't up till now looked hard for the different types- the dropped 90 was until recently the only one I was going for...

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found the picture

232533594_P10306843.jpeg.e9896190031cd27c61d29cedaeac25d3.jpeg

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Unless my eyes are deceiving me, Terry's penny doesn't look "as rotated" as Ian's picture ?

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10 hours ago, blakeyboy said:

Oh wow- I'm looking for 'dropped' 90 types nearly every day, so over the last few years I must have looked at thousands and found _one_ on Ebay,

one  amongst  all 1890's I've ever had, and that's it.

It that time I've NEVER seen that rotated 9....

There was an 1890Aa (dropped 90) sold on ebay in February 2013 as a Buy it Now, for around £30 from memory. Wasn't listed as that type though.

I actually advised someone else about it and think he purchased as a result. I wasn't into the date width variations at that time...….still not really...unless very peculiar.

I bet that Rob is enjoying this thread 🤣  

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2 hours ago, secret santa said:

Unless my eyes are deceiving me, Terry's penny doesn't look "as rotated" as Ian's picture ?

I think your right Richard , there really are lots of types .  :D

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8 minutes ago, terrysoldpennies said:

I think your right Richard , there really are lots of types .

Yes, Gouby doesn't list this one.

281239436_1890TrenchArtrev_edited.thumb.jpg.c2f4d8bd17763212ea9383676194705b.jpg

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