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12 minutes ago, mick1271 said:

That might be where I have heard his name from . Something to do with Reading coin club as well .Definitely not me lol.

Mick Martin, if it's the same one (there are at least two now!), wrote a long article in SNC 2009 working out the relative rarities of the Soho coinage and restrikes - very useful information. I believe I sent it to Secret Santa a while ago. 

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On 30 August 2020 at 8:31 PM, 1949threepence said:

One of the pre 1860 pennies I've found particularly difficult from the identification perspective, is the 1854/3. I'm sure that quite a few of those touted as such are mis-attributed, and I still haven't got one.

Bramah classes them as "rare" but in a "less degree" than some of the others which I've not found especially difficult to obtain. He describes the 4/3 as follows: "The die has been altered from 1853, the 3 showing chiefly to the right and left at top of 4, and in the space between its left base serif and the cross-stroke". That latter point "the space between the left base serif and the cross-stroke", appears to be crucial, because as far as I can tell it shows up quite strongly, whereas marks to the right and left at top of 4 appear so faintly, even under magnification, that you're not sure whether or not you're seeing things that aren't actually there.

I have just listed a slightly battered 1854 over 3 penny here on eBay, Mike, if you or any other forum members are interested.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/1854-over-3-Genuine-overdate-Victoria-copper-penny-Very-rare-and-seldom-seen/284038614822?_trkparms=aid%3D111001%26algo%3DREC.SEED%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D20160727114228%26meid%3Dfe85d40bab1b47699207c764eec150ee%26pid%3D100290%26rk%3D3%26rkt%3D4%26sd%3D203128428461%26itm%3D284038614822%26pmt%3D0%26noa%3D1%26pg%3D2060778&_trksid=p2060778.c100290.m3507

it is very edgy and has been historically cleaned, but it IS a genuine specimen.

 

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This finally arrived from France after being highlighted on the forum . 1874H 7 over 7 . very poor , but a clear example .

1874 H Penny F73 7 over 7 rev.jpg

1874 H Penny F73 7 over 7 obv.jpg

1874 H Penny F73 7 over 7 .jpg

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1 hour ago, Martinminerva said:

Thanks for the heads up Martin. That looks the real deal.

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On 8/4/2020 at 11:35 AM, PWA 1967 said:

1858-penny-small.jpg

I made a few phone calls and sent pictures of this coin to a couple of people to see if they could help or tell me the reason for this 1858 penny and other copper pennies i have seen as to why the right breast was completely flat even though the coin was UNC.

Due to it being the deepest / highest part of the die the metal from the blank did not fill the die ,either from not being struck hard enough or just being engaved to deep.So not always wear or a blocked die if the right breast is flat but the rest of the coin fully struck and UNC.

Made good sense to me ,so thought i would share on here.

 

Edited by PWA 1967
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On 10/8/2020 at 4:29 PM, Martinminerva said:

Thanks Martin, picked up today. Very, very pleased. 

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1 hour ago, 1949threepence said:

Thanks Martin, picked up today. Very, very pleased. 

Great, Mike - glad you like it and it's gone to a good home. Initially, I was a bit worried that the tracking number said it hadn't been delivered yet, given various previous posts about dodgy post, but all is good!

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1 hour ago, Martinminerva said:

Great, Mike - glad you like it and it's gone to a good home. Initially, I was a bit worried that the tracking number said it hadn't been delivered yet, given various previous posts about dodgy post, but all is good!

Martin, the delay was partly my fault for being out on Tuesday, the day of initial delivery. When I cycled into town on Wednesday, to pick up from the Post Office depot, I found it closed and shuttered up. The opening times had changed because of the pandemic, and were not as shown on the card. So went back this morning and picked up in accordance with the revised times. 

Something to be aware of if you're out when a coin arrives by next day tracked delivery. Don't take the times on the red and white card for granted. Check the website for your local RM pick up point first.  

But at least the correct procedure was followed by Royal Mail this time.    

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20 hours ago, PWA 1967 said:

I made a few phone calls and sent pictures of this coin to a couple of people to see if they could help or tell me the reason for this 1858 penny and other copper pennies i have seen as to why the right breast was completely flat even though the coin was UNC.

Due to it being the deepest / highest part of the die the metal from the blank did not fill the die ,either from not being struck hard enough or just being engaved to deep.So not always wear or a blocked die if the right breast is flat but the rest of the coin fully struck and UNC.

Made good sense to me ,so thought i would share on here.

 

It's the same reason why the same point is so often flat on the reverse of George V pennies - it's the high relief of the obverse, especially at that part - that 'sucks' metal away from the other face. Nothing to do with a worn die.

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On 10/16/2020 at 8:58 PM, Peckris 2 said:

It's the same reason why the same point is so often flat on the reverse of George V pennies - it's the high relief of the obverse, especially at that part - that 'sucks' metal away from the other face. Nothing to do with a worn die.

One thing I have noticed is how badly many of the 1860/59 specimens are affected by the lack of right breast. Indeed in many cases the left breast is also affected. 

Re-used worn reverse die? 

Here's an example:-

 

sixty over 59 obv.jpg

sixty over 59 rev.jpg

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1 hour ago, 1949threepence said:

Re-used worn reverse die? 

More likely a partially filled reverse die in my opinion. A worn die will have the highest parts worn down which would cause the incuse parts of the coin to be weak, and even on the highest quality 1860/59 pennies the left breast is usually flat whereas the rose etc at the bottom is usually fairly sharp.

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Assuming a constant survival rate for all dies used, is there a percentage difference between ww and plain truncations when it comes to how well struck up the breast is on the reverse? The no initials master obverses will have been made to replace worn out ww below, hence the no initials (WW died in 1851), so any difference in the reliefs could be down to the engraver? After all, the breastplate does correspond to the highest point on the hair strands. The planarity of the fields might also come into the equation.

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28 minutes ago, Rob said:

Assuming a constant survival rate for all dies used, is there a percentage difference between ww and plain truncations when it comes to how well struck up the breast is on the reverse? The no initials master obverses will have been made to replace worn out ww below, hence the no initials (WW died in 1851), so any difference in the reliefs could be down to the engraver? After all, the breastplate does correspond to the highest point on the hair strands. The planarity of the fields might also come into the equation.

Only, it seems, when you get to the 1860/59. 

The mint went to plain truncations in 1858, so that part of the run that year, and from then on, didn't have a WW on the truncation. Yet the 1858 no ww and the ordinary 1859, seem to be the same, breastplate wise, as their WW predecessors. With the same inconsistency as before. As far as I can tell, any rate. 

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So how many die pairs for the 1860/59? If only the one, I doubt it is possible to infer much at all as you have no means of comparing possible variables.

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1 hour ago, Rob said:

So how many die pairs for the 1860/59? If only the one, I doubt it is possible to infer much at all as you have no means of comparing possible variables.

I've used an illustration which shows a virtually smooth breastplate area. That is a specimen which shows the left breast gone as well. I've not seen one with a "complete" pair of breasts, as it were.  

No idea how many die pairs were used - probably just one, given the low mintage. But merely raising as a point of interest as it pertains to that year. 

ETA: Actually I'm pleased you mentioned the die pairs, as it got me thinking, and I've spent a bit of time wondering where I'd seen it mentioned about a flaw of the 1859 die that was carried into 1860 (not directly related to my original point, but quite interesting nonetheless). I eventually found it at page 4 of Bramah, where he states:-

Quote

"Incidentally, may I remark that certain details have an astonishing persistence in agreeing. A malformed letter, for instance, will be repeated on die after die throughout a year, several years, or even an entire reign. To give an example out of the scores, it will be found that the right base serif of the second T on the obv. of the penny of 1859 is always continued, as a thinner line, too far to the right. When the die of 1859 is recut as 1860, of course the betraying detail is there also"

I checked and found this is the case on both the large and small date types of 1859.    

Slightly further on, he continues:-

Quote

"The collector comparing specimens and lighting upon one of these faults naturally at first jumps to the conclusion that they are identical. As a matter of fact they are secret mint marks, introduced just as certain well known imperfections appear on bank notes, and with the same object"

     

 

Edited by 1949threepence

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8 hours ago, 1949threepence said:

I've used an illustration which shows a virtually smooth breastplate area. That is a specimen which shows the left breast gone as well. I've not seen one with a "complete" pair of breasts, as it were.  

No idea how many die pairs were used - probably just one, given the low mintage. But merely raising as a point of interest as it pertains to that year. 

Higher grade specimens can have fuller breasts!

I believe that the 1860/59 is a single die pair.

Reverses always have the weak legend, especially in BRITANNIAR, and even on higher grade pieces. The clover is also detached from its stalk, although that feature is also seen on other years.

Obverses, whether full 6 or partial 6, always have identical marks under Victoria's chin, and again under her pony tail. They also have the doubled tie ribbon.....which isn't really a tie ribbon but a clashed die, as explained in Peck Page 404, and better on MG's website.

 

1860 over 59 Reverse.jpg

1860 over 59 Obverse.jpg

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32 minutes ago, alfnail said:

Higher grade specimens can have fuller breasts!

I believe that the 1860/59 is a single die pair.

Reverses always have the weak legend, especially in BRITANNIAR, and even on higher grade pieces. The clover is also detached from its stalk, although that feature is also seen on other years.

Obverses, whether full 6 or partial 6, always have identical marks under Victoria's chin, and again under her pony tail. They also have the doubled tie ribbon.....which isn't really a tie ribbon but a clashed die, as explained in Peck Page 404, and better on MG's website.

 

 

 

Thanks Ian, useful information as ever - she certainly has a fuller left breast in that example.

Something I'm curious about - and at the risk of becoming a bore, I'm returning to Bramah. In particular page 109, where he states:-

Quote

"1860 is the rarest date of all, and never having been issued for circulation it is always more or less in mint state"

There were over 32,000 minted. If they were never issued for circulation, where did they get to, and how come so many have survived? Cope and Rayner only class them from VF upwards, and yet surely many did enter circulation. For instance I bet this one has. Although annoyingly, they don't show the obverse. 

  

 

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10 hours ago, 1949threepence said:

Only, it seems, when you get to the 1860/59. 

The mint went to plain truncations in 1858, so that part of the run that year, and from then on, didn't have a WW on the truncation. Yet the 1858 no ww and the ordinary 1859, seem to be the same, breastplate wise, as their WW predecessors. With the same inconsistency as before. As far as I can tell, any rate. 

 

10 hours ago, Rob said:

So how many die pairs for the 1860/59? If only the one, I doubt it is possible to infer much at all as you have no means of comparing possible variables.

It seems the change to bronze was originally planned for 1858, but there were so many problems they had to continue with the copper series. That's why there are so many overdates for 1858 - they were pressing old dies into service to meet demand. 1859 may be a case of preparing dies ahead (in 1858) as they knew they still wouldn't be ready. Logic says the changeover was rescheduled for 1860, but they still weren't quite ready, so a small number of 1860/59 coppers were struck. Note that the issue of bronze dated 1860 is massively outnumbered by the 1861 - 1863 mintages, indicating that it may well have been quite late in 1860 that they finally began striking bronze? Otherwise you would expect an equally huge mintage for 1860, being the first year of bronze.

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I think the main problem they had in 1859 was flan lamination when using bronze blanks, with several varieties of 1859 decimal patterns suffering from this. The 1/20th shilling P1981 (F686) is only known with a laminating flan according to Freeman. My own example is laminated as expected and so is the F689 in my possession, albeit with a known corpus of 1. The list is not exhaustive, as I have seen others with this problem too. Whether this is down to alloy ratios, force used in striking, blank preparation or flan thickness, or a combination of all these things is uncertain, but lamination was certainly an issue on the thinner flans. The thicker flans such as the P2000 (F706A) or P2002 (F710) do not appear to suffer from this problem.

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13 hours ago, alfnail said:

Higher grade specimens can have fuller breasts!

I believe that the 1860/59 is a single die pair.

Reverses always have the weak legend, especially in BRITANNIAR, and even on higher grade pieces. The clover is also detached from its stalk, although that feature is also seen on other years.

Obverses, whether full 6 or partial 6, always have identical marks under Victoria's chin, and again under her pony tail. They also have the doubled tie ribbon.....which isn't really a tie ribbon but a clashed die, as explained in Peck Page 404, and better on MG's website.

 

1860 over 59 Reverse.jpg

1860 over 59 Obverse.jpg

For the 1860/59, the die axis is usually askew as well, so if you turn the obverse over sideways, Britannia is leaning approx. 20-30 degrees to the right. I think it's the only Victorian copper penny (or maybe any penny?) with an askew die axis as standard rather than 0 or 180 degrees. 

I wonder why they did this. It's easy to see on Heritage archives as they show the pictures of the coin in the slab as well.

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Of course this brings us back to a perennial argument of strike and grade. IMO, a coin that is just as it left the dies with NO contact marks or handling would theoretically be a mint state 70 regardless of the crispness or softness of strike or whether there are die breaks, etc.

The problem arises when some wear is introduced to the equation, and the qualities of strike and wear become inextricably mixed. 

 

Interestingly (or maybe not) with regards to this coin, I do appreciate a better strike for aesthetics. Not all 1860/59 pennies are equal in presentation or value. I have seen some slabbed MS62s that are superior if not technically then overall to 63s or maybe 64s. The above coin has a better strike but shows some wear signs, esp. the obverse that along with the grime would, if pressed, get a grade of 55 for me.

OK, forgive me for the Sheldon grading...

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On 10/18/2020 at 10:04 PM, 1949threepence said:

Thanks Ian, useful information as ever - she certainly has a fuller left breast in that example.

Something I'm curious about - and at the risk of becoming a bore, I'm returning to Bramah. In particular page 109, where he states:-

There were over 32,000 minted. If they were never issued for circulation, where did they get to, and how come so many have survived? Cope and Rayner only class them from VF upwards, and yet surely many did enter circulation. For instance I bet this one has. Although annoyingly, they don't show the obverse. 

  

 

I did see this coin on their website, before it got sold. The obverse appeared less than fine to me, otherwise if it was fine for the obverse, then it would be not a bad price. Then again, how often do you get a chance to own one of these? 

Edited by Iannich48
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5 hours ago, Iannich48 said:

I did see this coin on their website, before it got sold. The obverse appeared less than fine to me, otherwise if it was fine for the obverse, then it would be not a bad price. Then again, how often do you get a chance to own one of these? 

Not very often as there aren't that many about. But that one saw a great deal of wear in what was effectively about 10 years of circulation life before demonetisation.

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On 10/18/2020 at 12:13 PM, 1949threepence said:

ETA: Actually I'm pleased you mentioned the die pairs, as it got me thinking, and I've spent a bit of time wondering where I'd seen it mentioned about a flaw of the 1859 die that was carried into 1860 (not directly related to my original point, but quite interesting nonetheless). I eventually found it at page 4 of Bramah, where he states:-

Quote

"Incidentally, may I remark that certain details have an astonishing persistence in agreeing. A malformed letter, for instance, will be repeated on die after die throughout a year, several years, or even an entire reign. To give an example out of the scores, it will be found that the right base serif of the second T on the obv. of the penny of 1859 is always continued, as a thinner line, too far to the right. When the die of 1859 is recut as 1860, of course the betraying detail is there also"

I checked and found this is the case on both the large and small date types of 1859.    

Slightly further on, he continues:-

Quote

"The collector comparing specimens and lighting upon one of these faults naturally at first jumps to the conclusion that they are identical. As a matter of fact they are secret mint marks, introduced just as certain well known imperfections appear on bank notes, and with the same object"

Interesting Mike. I knew that I had seen that quite often but not explored further. I have just checked all my No WW's and found this 'secret' mark on all of them, including 1858's as well as 1589 and 1860. Picture below for reference. Bramah also talks about other secret mint marks, is anyone aware of what they might be on the YH Copper Penny?

I guess with banknotes that was done as a fraud prevention measure prior to such things as microprinting becoming available.

P.S. I still have my spare decent copy of Bramah.......not a sales pitch!!

  

No WW GRATIA T Base Extended to Right.jpg

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On 10/18/2020 at 10:04 PM, 1949threepence said:

Thanks Ian, useful information as ever - she certainly has a fuller left breast in that example.

Something I'm curious about - and at the risk of becoming a bore, I'm returning to Bramah. In particular page 109, where he states:-

There were over 32,000 minted. If they were never issued for circulation, where did they get to, and how come so many have survived? Cope and Rayner only class them from VF upwards, and yet surely many did enter circulation. For instance I bet this one has. Although annoyingly, they don't show the obverse. 

  

 

On paper 32,000 minted, but how many of those were 1859 as was the usual Victorian practice until Grahame (?) the Mintmaster stopped it in the 1860's or 70's.

It does look like a makeshift issue, as well as the misaligned dies, the severe die clashing, the lettering isn't good either, for instance the 2 N's of Britanniar are irregular and spindly, and also the blocked date seen on some (but not all) with the bottom of the 6 missing. Though the hair definition on Victoria's head is generally sharp, it is definitely lacking quality control in these other areas, which are not this severe on any other of W. Wyon's pennies as far as I'm aware (though he was long gone by then). Perhaps they had all these blanks left over and a Mint Apprentice was told to get on with it?!

 

 

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